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Monument prizes peace.

Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard

Could Eugene really become known as "Peacemaker City"?

John Attig believes so. And once his volunteer group rounds up another $200,000 or so in donations, a one-of-a-kind monument that could give Tracktown USA a new nickname will be built in a high-traffic area of Alton Baker Park.

Attig is spearheading the fundraising effort for construction of a memorial honoring American winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. The monument is designed to include a winding 150-foot-long pathway and pillars featuring plaques describing the peacemaking deeds of Nobel honorees.

Attig said that while many communities have at least one war memorial, he doesn't know of anywhere that formally recognizes American peacemakers.

Nineteen Americans and three U.S.-based organizations have won the prestigious Nobel Prize. The list of honorees includes Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry Kissinger.

"These people have never been honored as a group anywhere," Attig said. "This is a first-ever national monument, and our way of saying we are proud to be part of this country."

Eugene officials already have given the project their blessing, allowing the monument to be built in a grassy area near the north end of the Peter DeFazio Bridge, west of the park's duck pond.

"(Attig's group) has done a good job working with us from the very beginning," said Carolyn Weiss, the city's parks planning manager.

Last week, the Eugene City Council adopted a resolution endorsing the project. The endorsement follows others from Mayor Kitty Piercy, previous city mayors Jim Torrey and Ruth Bascom, state legislators Phil Barnhart, Bill Morrisette, Vicki Walker and Terry Beyer, and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio.

Attig's group is depending solely on private contributions to finance the $400,000 project. About half that amount has been collected so far. Organizers hope to break ground on the monument project by next spring.

As part of the effort, project organizers have developed a curriculum about Nobel Prize winners that local teachers will use to supplement their students' social studies coursework. Those lessons will begin in a few classrooms this fall.

For more information about the project, go to www.nobelpeacemonument.org; call 686-1027; e-mail jnhattig@efn.org; or write to Nobel Peace Laureate Monument Committee, 2335 Terrace View Drive, Eugene, OR 97405.
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Title Annotation:General News; While war memorials abound, Eugene would be the first city to honor American winners of the Nobel Peace Prize
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 23, 2006
Words:380
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