Kansas City, June 21, 2019. The planting of ninth “Tree of Peace” was carried out under auspices of the Honorary Consulate of the Slovak Republic to the Midwest USA and the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic in New York. The tree was planted on the North Lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday June 21, 2019 at 5 pm in honor of the memory of those who fought and perished in WWI. Dr. Matthew Naylor, President and CEO of the Museum and Memorial, staff of the Museum and Memorial; Mr. Matej Saloň the Deputy Consul General of the Slovak Republic in New York; Mr. Ross P. Marine, the Honorary Consul of the Slovak Republic to the Midwest USA; Mr. Stan Salva President of the Czech & Slovak Club of Greater Kansas City in Missouri; Dr. Cecilia Rokusek President and CEO of the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids in Iowa; Mr. Marek Sobola, Ph.D., the director of the international “Tree of Peace Project”, Mr. Róbert Machciník, technical manager of this project as Czech & Slovak Club members and invited guests was participated in the tree planting ceremonies.
The “Tree of Peace” Project is endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic under the Trademark brand License called “GOOD IDEA SLOVAKIA – IDEAS FROM SLOVAKIA”, granted by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The purpose and goal of the project is to plant memorial “Trees of Peace” worldwide to commemorate and honor the memory of all soldiers (known and unknown) who fought and fallen during Global War Conflicts. The project was undertaken in 2018 under the direction of Marek Sobola to mark the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI. Coordinating and working with Embassies and Consulates of the Slovak Republic worldwide to plant a “Tree of Peace on every continent of the world between 2018 – 2022, the period of time WWI lasted. Additionally the planting of the “Tree of Peace” was mark the 100th anniversary of the premature death of Slovak General Milan Rastislav Štefánik. General Štefánik was a soldier and military pilot during WWI. Together with Dr. Tomáš G. Masaryk they were the organizers of the National Council of Czechoslovakia which resulted in the formation and founding of Czechoslovakia as a free, independent, democratic nation after WWI October, 1918. Štefánik and Masaryk are recognized as co-founders of Czechoslovakia. Of historical note on June 28, 1918 the “Treaty of Versailles, was signed ending the war between Germany and Allied Nations. Ambitious in its aims, the treaty failed more than it succeeded but sought to imagine a world free of Global Conflict. The planting of the “Tree of Peace” ceremony was also commemorated the centennial anniversary of the signing of treaty.
The “Tree of Peace” selected was a Red Oak (Quercus rubra) which symbolically links to the Red Oak that was recently planted at the Imperial Villa, the summer residence of the Austrian Emperors in Bad Ischl, Austria called “Kaiservilla”. A copper plaque on a pillar that was placed in front of the tree was designed by Marek Sobola and was produced in the Kremnica Mint in Slovakia. The mint was established in 1328, when the Hungarian King Charles Robert of Anjou promoted Kremnica as a free Royal town, the mint continues to operate to this day. The memorial steel pillar was designed by sculptor Michal Janiga. Tree planting principals was also participated that evening in the “Taps at the Tower” at the Museum and Memorial including the placing of a wreath of remembrance at the base of the tower by Marek Sobola, Matej Saloň and Stan Salva. Special recognition and thanks is given to Mr. Chris Wyche, Vice President of Facilities Operations Management and Technology, National WWI Museum and Memorial who was responsible for the organization, planning and coordination of the of the “Tree of Peace” ceremony in Kansas City. Red oak (“Tree of Peace” in USA) was donated by Consulate General of Slovakia in New York.
Official declarations and recognitions to the “Tree of Peace Project” have been issued by Mr. Sylvester “Sly” James Jr., Mayor City of Kansas City and Mr. Michael Larson, Mayor of Sugar Creek city. An official Congressional Record was issued in Washington on June 20, 2019. The Record of the United States House of Representatives with No. 104 was signed by Emanuel Cleaver II a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.