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Bridge of Peace, Peacemaking

“If women all around the world take one another’s hands as sisters, their men would cease to fight and kill one another...parents would no longer mourn the loss of their sons and daughters.”

- Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, WFWP Founder

 WFWP’s signature project, the Bridge of Peace, was developed as a means of reconciliation, an avenue for individuals of conflicting backgrounds to come together in forgiveness for the past with hope and determination for the future.

In 1995 and 1996, on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, over 20,000 Japanese women came to the United States to cross a symbolic bridge with an American “sister” in order to heal the gap which still existed between the former enemy nations. Many tears were shed, with laughter and smiles, as each side made a commitment to end the animosity of the past. Since then, we have used the Bridge of Peace in Ireland, to unite Catholics and Protestants; even in Jerusalem, between Israelis and Arabs, between Jews and Christians, and Christians and Muslims. In the United States, it has been used to heal racism by uniting women and girls in a multicolor bouquet of sisterhood, to mend the rift and misunderstanding between police and citizens, and to reconcile couples who have considered divorce and want to renew their dedication of love.

The transformative power of the Bridge of Peace lies not in the act of the ceremony, but within the heart and mind of each individual who take this step toward reconciliation. Two individuals stand at opposite sides of the bridge and bow both in repentance for anything they or their ancestors may have done to cause pain to the other as well as in forgiveness to the other side. As they cross to meet each other at the center, they cross over fear, prejudice, resentment, and pain, and embrace each other with a bigger heart and a bigger mind. In this embrace is also a commitment to a new future of peace. The Bridge is a symbol of crossing the barriers that we hold in our hearts and a willingness to embrace and accept someone different.

“Things inside me loosened. I felt I had to apologize to Gloria for my family and for the culture in which I was raised to view black people as inferior and ignorant. Although we have grown very close as sisters and twins, and had alluded to the fact that there had been racial tension between us before God brought us together; I had never said this to Gloria before...Apologizing was difficult for me, and she readily forgave me, for which I was relieved and grateful...I told her I was sorry. It was unbelievably liberating for me after confessing to Gloria and being forgiven which I honestly did not expect, and I wanted to apologize for more situations, but I could not go on.”

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