Some Peace Light enthusiasts travel hundreds of miles each season in order to move the flame from one part of the country to another. Here are their stories.
Brian often travels from New York City to Denver to Boston, making many stops along the way to share the Peace Light and its message of peace and friendship. He shared his travel tips with us.
Tim flew from Houston to New York, then rented a car and drove south to Jacksonville FL then on to Austin TX, spreading peace and friendship along the way.
I’ve been involved in sharing the Peace Light since 2018, when I first attended a sharing ceremony in Sam Houston Area Council. In 2019 I carried the light from the Houston area up to the Texas Panhandle to share with family, and I repeated this trip in 2021. After several years of watching many volunteers connect in order for the Peace Light to travel to Texas I volunteered to bring it from New York down to Texas. After some encouragement from Karla Christian to take the Peace Light “a little further south” to avoid overlapping travel routes with another Peace Light Courier traveling to Alabama I set my route back home – New York down the coast to Jacksonville, Florida, and then west back to Austin, TX.
I flew from Austin to La Guardia Airport the day before the Peace Light arrived, and spent the evening securing my rental car and the supplies I would use to secure my lanterns to safely transport the flame in a car.
I use two UCO Candle Lanterns to transport the Peace Light, following Karla Christian’s example. Packs of 20 candles can be purchased on Amazon to provide enough candles to make it through a long journey. When I stop overnight I transfer the light to a Sanctuary Candle to allow the flame to burn longer without tending and allow me to clean up my UCO lanterns. In the car this past year I used a litter box with cat litter to stabilize the lanterns. This worked well, but the litter gets into the lantern base and requires cleaning. I’ll likely use sand in the future to make that an easier process.
The Peace Light arrival ceremony was a special experience for me. I was able to meet several of the committed people I had seen on the Peace Light North America facebook page and website coordinating plans each year to spread the Peace Light and its message as far as they could.
After the arrival ceremony I traveled to Washington D.C. where I spent the night. Since I had announced my travel plans in early November 2022 I had made several connections through the Peace Light North America facebook page and website to share the Peace Light, with two connections planned for that first evening. Unfortunately both contacts had issues arise and we were not able to met. I was heartened to see those folks connect with others in the area after I had driven through to share the Peace Light and carry it back to their communities.
My second day of travel was a busy one, with meetups planned in every state along the coast down to Florida. While I had done a good job estimating my travel times using Google to know when I would be arriving in a town, I did not add in time for fuel stops and meals. By the time I made it to my second meetup in South Carolina I was over an hour behind schedule. On coming trips I’ll be adding in 30 minute breaks to my travel schedule to give meetups a more accurate arrival time. Thankfully I had exchanged cell phone numbers with everyone before I started my trip and was able to update them on my progress, and their schedules still allowed them to meet me.
After arriving in Jacksonville and checking my phone I realized I had only taken photos at half of my stops. A point to improve in future travels! When I would reach my hotel each night I made it a point to carry one of my lanterns to the front desk with me to check-in. I would explain what I was carrying and ensure it was ok to keep it in my room. In each case I was told it was ok, but I don’t know if that would have been the case in other hotels or with different staff working.
My third day of driving took me from Jacksonville to Baton Rouge, LA. I had one meetup in Hammond, LA on my way. Establishing more connections along the Gulf states is a goal for future years. Again, I was to focused on the moment of sharing the Peace Light and didn’t get photos with Reverend Chance. My fourth and final day of driving took me through Lake Charles, LA to share with Jacob Fontenot of BSA Calcasieu Area Council, and two meet ups in the Houston area including Karla Christian.
After four days of driving I had arrived in the Austin area. The following Saturday I carried the Peace Light to San Antonio where there’s a strong Peace Light community to share the light with them. I also met up with a leader of Girl Scouts Troop 78 in Uvalde. A Girl Scout Troop in Maryland had wanted to share the Peace Light with the Uvalde troop as a message of peace after the tragic shootings in Uvalde. I was honored that my trip helped make that possible.
Making connections through the Peace Light North America website and Facebook group was easy, and I truly enjoyed getting to meet everyone along the way and learn a little bit about what the Peace Light means to them and how they will be sharing it and the message of peace it brings.
I’m planning to repeat my trip this December and hope to share the Peace Light again with the folks I met last year and hopefully some new people as the message of the Peace Light is shared in the states along the Gulf. I’ll be planning breaks into my travel so I’m more likely to be on time to meet ups after a full day of driving. I’ll also not be using cat litter to stabilize my lanterns, as that was too coarse to easily clean out at the end of the day.
I wish you all peace, and if you live between Jacksonville, FL and Houston, TX that we might have the chance to meet and share the Peace Light with one another.
A native of Austria, Heinz volunteered to bring the Peace Light to the U. S. Pacific Northwest for the first time in 2022.
My career was in International Supply Chain and Logistics and I am humbled to be a small link in the supply chain of sharing peace via this Peacelight and along our driving route back to PNW from Salt Lake City. Special thanks to my daughter Claudia who accompanied me on the trip and her boyfriend Breyer for building the transport containers to keep the flame safe. The instructions for building it came from the Peace Light North America website and was easy to follow and make. We are also grateful for Dave and Sharyl Admire for filling the gap and passing the Peacelight onto us in Salt Lake City, UT.
We drove westward from Salt Lake City with stops in Park City, Boise, Portland, Olympia, Tacoma to share with various individuals and groups. They ranged from private families who lived in Europe and wanted to continue the tradition to Boy Scout troops, church leaders, and Ukrainian Scout leaders in Washington State.
Gateway Fellowship Church in my hometown Poulsbo, WA received the Peacelight on Saturday the 18th and incorporated it into their Christmas Eve candle lighting services and was an outreach to other community churches to receive it as well.
Gateway Community Church made the below video link upon receiving the Peacelight.
I humbly look forward to being a servant again this year in distributing the Peacelight along the same route and spreading Peace throughout the journey.