2018 National Parents’ Day Celebrated With Diversity
Washington, D.C. – The celebration of the 24th National Parents’ Day 2018 to honor outstanding parents was held in the Ballroom at the Washington Times, on Thursday, August 16th. The over-flow crowd of more than 250 guests gathered for the exemplary couples who were honored at the annual banquet.
Mr. Larry Moffitt, the Vice President of The Washington Times Foundation, served as MC for the program. Ms. Anha Stewart began the program with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem while Pastor John Turnipseed, one of the awardees, offered a prayer followed by a delicious buffet dinner.
The DC Family Church Children’s Choir, a group of interracial, 4 to 14-year-olds, sang, “Where Peace Begins.” They warmed the hearts of everyone in the audience.
Mr. Tom McDevitt, Chairman, The Washington Times and UPF USA, shared a report on the local works of UPF USA celebrating Parents’ Day and offered comments on the importance and history of National Parents’ Day, mentioning the wide acceptance of the national holiday by churches and community groups, adding “Hallmark sells cards to commemorate the day.” He concluded with, “Let’s keep parenting central in the consciousness of the nation.”
Mrs. Pat Ware, President and CEO of the Ware Development Group, said she made ‘networking’ her business. She has worked to bring all sides together to empower struggling people. She found that helping people, especially women, to find their vision for their children and through shared support to give them hope, allowed that neighborhood to be recognized as a model community.
Former congressman Bob McEwen, 6th District of Ohio and a Senior Advisor of a nationally recognized law firm spoke on how the most important thing to learn is that everything in life is either physical or spiritual.“Wisdom means the capacity to discern what is right. Love is spiritual, peace is spiritual, they need spiritual tools.” His greatest joy is grandparenting.
A video clip was shown with former Congressman Dan Burton and wife Dr. Samie Burton, who were in Colorado, saying “Happy True Parents’ Day” to all, and congratulations to all who are being recognized. He is the Chairman of the International Association for Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP). He said, “Thank you, for all you do for the family and this country.”
Another video clip showed retiring Senator Orrin Hatch, in Utah, who is a longtime champion for religious freedom, he thanked The Washington Times for its work for freedom and family, and then offered, “Happy Parents’ Day” to all.
The final remarks were offered by Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Regional Chairman, Family Federation of North America. He started with “Happy Parents’ Day” and went on to talk about the words of Mother Moon. The importance of “Parentism” is not only to practice good parenting in our own families but to practice it in our communities, nations and world. Dr. Kim spoke about the oriental practice of filial piety, where loyalty to one’s parents, even to the parents of the nation, of the church, is essential to bring true peace to us all.
After the Rehoboth Praise Singers offered a joyful song, “We’re together again, just praising the Lord”, Archbishop George A. Stallings, co-chair of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and Senior Pastor at Imani Temple, Suitland, MD, offered remarks before beginning the award process. He then recognized couples from his own church.
This year, the finalists for the National Parents’ Day 2018 were divided into five sub region where each region established their own search and selection committee.
Mr. Jaime and Mrs. Cielo Lardizabal, Barnegat, New Jersey
Mr. Augusto and Mrs. Julieta Arroyo, Bronx, New York
Rev. Roger and Mrs. Agnes Bantawan, Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Mr. Shukoor and Mrs. Nabeela Ahmed, Bowie, Maryland
Mr. Mattney and Mrs. Rachel Beck, Raleigh, North Carolina
Pastor Tokunbo and Mrs. Yinka Shomide, Delaware
Pastor John and Pastor Artence Turnipseed, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mr. Justin and Mrs. Leona Holmes, South Charleston, West Virginia
Dr. John and Mrs. Hannah Loum, St. Louis, Missouri
Hon. Bob and Mrs. Mary Hausch Coffin, Las Vegas, Nevada
Mr. Hari Pritan Singh and Mrs. Jas Want Kaur Singh, Irving, Texas
Mr. Sanford and Mrs. Binky Tollette, Little Rock, Arkansas
Dr. Saleem and Mrs. Carol Ahmed, Honolulu, Hawaii
Dr. Fred and Mrs. Elizabeth Crary, Seattle, Washington
Mr. Bert and Mrs. Josephine Golla, Seattle, Washington
Councilman Bob Coffin gave a response on behalf of all the. He said this work is not about one religion but the faith of all, working together. He said, he realized that in the 1950’s Rev. Moon recognized that the US was the perfect place to promote ‘Parentism’, as the first parents. Bob Coffin said, “Now is the time for national reconciliation, we should move together as parents, rejoin and reunify as families.”
A blessing of marriage and prayer for families was led by Rev. Richard and Mrs. Marjorie Buessing, President, Family Federation USA asking the couples to share a cup of juice to renew their marriage vows while the singles in the room committed for purity before marriage.
Appointment of new Ambassadors for Peace concluded the program. New appointees are: Wayne. F. Moore, USN retired, he works with VFW members; Mrs. Tayyaba Samina, a Pakistani woman from a prominent Muslim family living in Virginia and working in the field of interfaith; Mr. Aleem Ahmad Khan, who works on peace, conflict resolution and interfaith, also from Pakistan. Mrs. Naila Khan, a Pakistani American wife and mother who works in communities to encourage people through difficult times. Sayed Hafeez Ul Haq, a Pakistani-American, social worker, poet, writer and journalist. Ms. Raheela Ahmed, elected Maryland school board member, works tirelessly as a community activist and volunteer working with immigrants toward an inclusive democracy. Younger sister of Raheela, also an active volunteer and community activist, Shabnam Ahmed, who works in the field of Global Public Health. Pepita Kragbe, Founder of La Main Tendue whose Reach Out Hand goals is to provide books and supplies to schools and by collecting and distributing basic medical supplies and generic drugs. The appointment as an Ambassador for Peace encourages each participant to work together to expand their good efforts for society.
The celebration was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, Family Federation USA, The Washington Times Foundation, Universal Peace Federation USA, and Women’s Federation for World Peace USA. The new awardees were presented with flowers by the DC Children’s choir and a call by Dr. Kim for next year’s program to become an “International Parents’ Day Celebration.”
Contributed by Susan Fefferman