OWEGO (WBNG) – Hundreds gathered at the Owego Schoolhouse Antiques and Art Gallery on Saturday, joining hands to celebrate the world’s largest peace sign.
Leonard Hilldale created the the symbol just four months ago to the day, when he felt lost.
“I mowed out into this field feeling like I didn’t have a voice, and feeling very alone,” Hilldale said.
Only now, the sign serves as a beacon worldwide.
“This is the first international monument of peace on the planet,” Hilldale said. “I think we need to fill our minds with love and peace.”
Hilldale and other organizers for the Peace Festival estimated around 1,500 people made their way to the sign and wanted to bring about love and hope.
“This is great,” Owego deputy mayor Charles Plater said. “To have everyone show up, a great crowd to symbolize peace love and harmony in one spot here in Owego. This is great.”
For Hilldale, the attendance numbers were affirmation there are people who want to build a better world.
“I’m very excited that so many people came out, and have the same point of view that what we need today is more peace,” Hilldale sad. “Love and understanding, that’s what we need to make the world a better place for ourselves and for our children.”
The festival had local food vendors and live music to entertain the crowds.
Hilldale hopes for future peace festivals to see more people, as well as more voices for love and unity.
“We’re hoping that the festival keeps getting larger and larger, and that voices of the people get larger and larger,” Hilldale said.