This morning we had a beautiful event commemorating the dedication of the world’s first Sri Chinmoy Street and the Sri Chinmoy Heart-Garden in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York. Original dedication took place at October 11, 2006.
The event began with a 2 mile race using the 1-mile loop that is used in the Sri Chinmoy 6 & 10 Day Race.
Both events are organized by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.
Janice Melnick, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Administrator welcomed everyone and invited us to come and enjoy the Park’s open day next week when there will be many of the historic World’s Fair monuments open for tours
Ranjana Ghose, President of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, spoke about Sri Chinmoy’s love of this park and our shared experiences with him. She also reminisced about the multifarious sporting activities he inspired or undertook in the park over the years.
She shared with us a quote from Sri Chinmoy “This particular park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, has given me many, many, many, many most significant experiences over the years. I have walked, jogged and run for many, many years. Happy experiences, happy, happier, happiest experiences I have received from this, our beloved park.”
“You have blessingfully honoured me today by giving the name of the street in my honour. I am having a totally new experience. Honour you have bestowed upon me. For that I am extremely, extremely grateful to you. But I am having a new experience here. I feel in all sincerity that you have given me the supreme task of lovingly and prayerfully welcoming people who pass every day here. You have given me the opportunity to be a guard on your behalf to welcome them and offer them my and your—our—loving gratitude.”
Dr. Agraha brought to life Sri Chinmoy’s delight at this dedication nine years ago and expressed Sri Chinmoy’s sincerest gratitude to have this honour bestowed upon him. He also highlighted how the Sri Chinmoy Street initiative has grown and continued with numerous Sri Chinmoy streets being dedicated around the world.
Peace Run Executive Director, Salil Wilson, introduced the Peace Run and reflected upon the peace-loving spirit we all have deep within and how that common and collective experience provides a potential for our future oneness-world family.
Salil invited everyone to take a journey Sri Chinmoy took 9 years ago and embark on a prayerful walk along Sri Chinmoy Street.
Our special guests included NYC Parks Officials, a New York City Councillor as well as a number of Olympians. Our guests shared the torch as they walked.
We were honoured to present our Torch-Bearer Award to our dear friend Jimmy Gennaro for his countless years of service to the community, New York City and New York State. Ashrita Furman presented the award.
Hazel Greene, three-time Olympian in Archery for Ireland and World Record-holder in the Deadlift & Champion Fencer shared her infectious enthusiasm.
Taraje Williams-Murray, two-time Olympian in Judo for the USA and currently aspiring for his third Olympics, shared some of the challenges he has faced in his journey to the Olympics and beyond and how the spirit we have within has helped him find life.
Bruce Macdonald, three-time Olympian in Racewalking for USA, AAU Champion in 10k and 15k Racewalking and Coach of many world-class racewalkers, spoke about his hopes to implement a new project to inspire young people to participate in sport.
Nikos Spanakos, Olympian in Boxing for USA and winner of many Golden Glove Championships congratulated us on our efforts and encouraged us to continue.
Coach Jim Hurt, Head Track and Field Coach at St. John’s University for 26 Years and Coach of many Olympic athletes and collegiate championship teams, remembered his friendship with Sri Chinmoy who used to train at the St. John’s track.
The whole morning was flooded with peace, friendly vibes, smiling faces and bright sun. Exactly as it should be in the Heart Garden.
Photo credit: Bhashwar Hart, Valeriy Bilokryl