Copenhagen, Denmark—The theme of the 2019 Peace Road event held by UPF-Denmark was “The Ocean in the Service of Peace.”
A total of 15 participants walked 2 kilometers (close to 1.25 miles) around the central part of Copenhagen on August 4. We chose a “walk and talk” style, stopping at five places that represent different ways in which the ocean is crucial for realizing peace—both generally and specifically for Denmark, a great maritime nation.
Lars Neergaard of UPF-Denmark spoke briefly on these five ways, quoting from UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s autobiography on these topics at the following five locations:
Nyhavn (New Harbor Channel), representing “gaining knowledge of other countries and cultures”: The famous fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen lived 20 years in Nyhavn and wrote many of his famous fairy tales here, getting inspiration by listening to the stories from sailors returning home from countries around the world. Our tour started at the big anchor in Nyhavn, which is a memorial to the 2,300 civilian sailors who lost their lives at sea during World War II, never returning home. They showed great bravery and patriotism in helping to secure food and other supplies for Europe despite the dangers.
The Inderhavnsbroen (Inner Harbor Bridge), representing “food and resources”: From here one has a good view of the whole harbor and many buildings that testify to the last 400 years of development as a fishing port, being a cornerstone of the economic prosperity of Denmark. Also oil drilling from North Sea has played an important role in the last 40 years of prosperity.
In his autobiography Father Moon explains how we are moving into an oceanic era, and only through the ocean—especially through fish farming—can the global food supply be secured, which is the most important foundation for world peace.
Nordatlantens Brygge (North Atlantic House), representing “trading through shipping”: From here trading with Faroe Island, Iceland and Greenland took place for 300 years, creating a “Maritime Silk Road” between East and West—the East being represented by the Inuit people of Greenland.
Dokøen (the shipbuilding island) with the Copenhagen Opera House representing “character building”: By going to sea, young people can grow their character, self-esteem and social abilities to become responsible citizens, family members and leaders.
Nyholm, representing “national defense by the navy”: As a peninsular nation, Denmark always has been vulnerable to attack from other countries. Its national sovereignty has been dependent on good shipbuilding technology and brave sailors to defend the nation. After 400 years, this area no longer will have any naval facilities, starting in 2020. All the buildings which before were symbolic of war are being turned into mostly cultural and educational institutions for young people, opening an era of peace though culture—like the “swords being turned into plowshares.”