Keeping peace in mind

Sally White, Roselva Ungar and Patty Carmody stand together advocating for peace around the world. Ryan Mancini/ The Signal
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Under trees at the corner of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway, the SCV Grandmothers for Peace waved and stood holding signs Sunday afternoon.

“We are all pro-peace,” said lead organizer Patty Carmody, referred to by her fellow organizers as the “peace guru.”

The organization brings grandmothers and even non-grandparents together to support universal peace, from humanity to nature. Through Facebook and other communication methods, Carmody said. She lets people who are interested know when and where they plan to hold a vigil. Held on the first Sunday of each month, a dozen people typically come in support, sometimes bringing friends and even grandchildren, she said.

Unique to this particular vigil: Tracer, the organization’s first canine participant.

“We had quite a few different people,” she said. “But currently, and for most of the last 15 years, we’re called ‘Grandmothers for Peace,’ although some of the people here aren’t grandmothers — but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes, they’re grandfathers.”

The local chapter initially started in 2003, following the beginning of the Iraq War. Grandmothers for Peace International began in 1982 in support of nuclear non-proliferation. Those who join don’t have to belong to a particular party or ideology, as the organization is devoid of politics; the aim is simply for peace, said organizer Sally White. By standing for peace, the hope is for grandchildren, great-grandchildren and future generations to live healthy and peaceful lives, Carmody said.

“I would like to see (a peaceful world) for everybody and I believe in spreading your arms wide and taking in everybody and trying to bring community and caring for each other and love and peace and joy to everybody,” White said. “Which, at this point in my life, I feel is what I’m supposed to do. That’s always been my purpose.”

While ages may vary from member to member, 86-year-old Carmody is not ready to slow anything down.

“We just keep going along,” she said.

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