Yuka Saionji, Deputy Chairperson of Byakko Shinko Kai
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for attending the eighth annual Symphony of Peace Prayers. The Symphony of Peace Prayers started eight years ago from pretty much nothing—no network, no partners, no experience. But, we had a vision to create a Symphony of Peace Prayers. Now, one by one, we have found our peers, our family, our friends. And today, the SOPP is being celebrated worldwide in over fifty locations in more than twenty-five countries—Australia, Pakistan, France, England, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, the United States, Uruguay, Chile, and so on. The symphony is being played all over the world.
Byakko has been praying quietly over the past fifty years, but through the SOPP, the doors have opened. It was time for us to invite people from all over the world who share the same vision and hope, and an opportunity was given for us to offer this Prayer Field to people praying beyond religious differences. Until now, we were just a single melody, but now, one by one, different musics and beautiful melodies have joined us, and we are creating this masterpiece called Symphony of Peace Prayers.
The SOPP has taught me, and the prayer leaders today have taught me, that in order to create a symphony, it was so important for us to truly play our part in the symphony, through our own prayers. By being able to create the most beautiful sound from within, from our own prayers, then, for the first time, we are able to bring out the beautiful melodies in each other. By knowing, acknowledging, and loving our true melody of prayers, we are able to sense the beautiful melodies of others, and through that, the bigger symphony is created.
If, through the SOPP, we can be the beings of this melody, this harmony, beyond religions and nationalities, I think that is a step towards peace. That is why it is so important for us to be the vibration and the experience and the love and healing of our prayers.
Lastly, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and respect to all of the amazing, wonderful prayer leaders today, and to the youth representatives, who have joined us with their beautiful peace prayers. And I would like to offer my gratitude to all of our honored guests, members, and volunteers in joining this event today. With your deep prayers, this sacred space is created, and the symphony is being played. Your presence makes this event possible. So, on behalf of Byakko Shinko Kai, I would like to send our deepest gratitude to everyone here today, and to all the others around the world who are creating this symphony together. Thank you very much. May peace prevail on Earth.
From the stage, the flag bearers proceeded out into the Prayer Field, accompanied by another rousing instrumental score and applause from the participants. The final four national flag bearers paused on stage to gently swing their flags in a large circle, then descended the steps to make room at center stage for the large Earth flag. Finally, the flags were raised high in the air as the music, and the eighth annual SOPP ceremony, came to a close.