Bahá'ís dedicate Memorial Tree in Hallowed Ground


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  • Photo by Roger Gavan On Sunday, Oct. 8, Mayor Michael Newhard (to right of tree) and members of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce joined local observers of the Bahá'í Faith and their friends to celebrate the planting of a six-foot Rose of Sharon tree in the Hallowed Ground park.



WARWICK — On Sunday, Oct. 8, Mayor Michael Newhard and members of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce joined local observers of the Bahá'í Faith and their friends to celebrate the planting of a six-foot Rose of Sharon tree in the Hallowed Ground park.

The Bahá'í Faith is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity and equality of all people.

The Hallowed Grounds park, at the intersection of Forester Avenue and Galloway Road, was the location of the very first Baptist Meeting House in the Warwick Valley. And the site contains many unmarked eighteenth century graves.

The new tree, donated by the Bahá'ís of Warwick and planted by the Village of Warwick Department of Public Works, marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith.

Explaining the purpose of the tree planting, Sherry Bukovcan spoke about the important place of the unity of the human race in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh.

She said a plaque will be installed next to the tree and will include a quote from Bahá'u'lláh, "The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens"

During the ceremony, a blessing written by Bahá'u'lláh, "Blessed is the spot", was sung by Janelle Heise. She then explained Bahá'u'lláh's teaching about the unity of religion; that God has revealed a "universal, eternal religion" in stages, as the human race has been able to accept it.

Shohreh Saghafi then offered a prayer from the Bahá'í writings.

Newhard thanked the Bahá'ís for donating the tree.

He said that the Hallowed Ground expresses the spiritual atmosphere of Warwick and that this new tree and the plaque will bring the ideal of unity to the minds of visitors to the park.

Bukovcan closed the observance by thanking all who attended and participated.

- Roger Gavan

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