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Washington Monument


In September 1975, we founded the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, New York, which is located north of New York City. The faculty was hired on an inter religious basis, and we had professors representing Judaism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Buddhism. When they lectured about their own religions, our students asked them very difficult questions. The classes always became forums for intense debate. When all the religions were put together and debated, they began to break through the incorrect concepts that they had about each other and to better understand each other. Gifted young people finished their masters level education at our seminary and entered the doctoral programs of Harvard, Yale and other major universities. Today, they have become people capable of leading the religious world on a global scale.

In 1974 and in 19751 was invited to speak on Capitol Hill. I spoke in front of members of the House of Representatives on the topic "One Nation Under God."

I addressed the Congressmen in the same manner as I had the young people on the street, saying, "America was born through God's blessing. This blessing, however, was not for Americans alone. This was God's blessing for the world, given through America. America must understand the principle of this blessing, and sacrifice itself in order to save the world. To do this, there needs to be a reawakening that lets America return to its founding spirit. Christianity, which has been divided into dozens of denominations, must be united, absorb all religions and open a new future for world civilization."

I was the first foreign religious leader to be invited to speak by the U.S. Congress. After I was invited for a second time, many more people became interested in finding out about this man Rev. Moon from Korea.

The next year, on June 1, We held a celebration to commemorate the 200th anniversary of America's independence at Yankee Stadium in New York City. At the time, America was feeling the threat of Communism, and its young people were living lives far distant from the desire of God, engaging in such things as drugs and abortion. I felt that America was seriously ill. I went to the celebration feeling as though I was like a surgeon cutting open the heart of a New York that lay sick.

On the day of the celebration, it rained tremendously. Despite the rain, no one got up from their seats. The rain was pouring down, but no one tried to get out of the rain. The band started playing the song, "You Are My Sunshine," and everyone in the stadium started to sing together. They were singing a song about sunshine, even as they were being soaked by the rain. Their mouths were singing about sunshine, but their eyes were crying. It was a moment when rain and tears were mixed together.

I did some boxing when I was in school. You can hit a good boxer with many jabs and still find that he is not affected. If you can land a solid upper cub however, even the strongest boxer will be shaken up. 1 was counting on landing a solid upper cut on America. I felt that there needed to be a much larger rally than what had been held up to that point so that the name "Sun Myung Moon" would be indelibly carved onto American society.

Washington is the capital of the United States. In a place that is a straight line from the Capitol Building, there is a tower called "Washington Monument" It is shaped like a sharpened pencil standing on its end. There is a large grassy area that extends from the monument to the Lincoln Memorial. This area represents the heart of America. I set a plan to hold a large rally in this place.

To hold a rally there, we needed permission from the U.S. government and the U.S. National Park Police. The U.S. government kept turning us down, and it was not until 40 days prior to the event that we were finally able to receive permission.

Our members, too, suggested to me that this was too ambitious a plan and we should not go forward. The National Mall surrounding the Washington Monument was an open park in the middle of an urban area. There were not many trees, just a wide expanse of grass. If the crowd was small, it would be there for everyone to see. To fill such a large area, there would have to be hundreds of thousands of people. Our members wanted to know how this could be possible. Prior to this, only two people had held large events on the National Mall. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had held a rally for civil rights on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and Rev. Billy Graham had held a large gathering there. So it was a place with a lot of symbolism This was the place that I was challenging.

I prayed many hours for this rally. I wrote the speech that I was to deliver four different times. A week before the event, I still had mixed feelings about what I should say in my sermon. Finally, three days before the event, I completed the text. Generally, I don't speak from prepared texts. I made an exception in this case, because of my concern that the event go well. I knew this was going to be a particularly important event, though I wasn't quite certain in what way.

I will never forget what happened on that day, September 18,1976. People started coming to the Washington Monument from early in the morning. Some 300,000 people gathered. It was impossible to tell where all these people had come from. These people had all different color hair and skin. All the races that God sent to earth gathered on that day. It was a rally on a global scale that does not require any additional description.

I stood in front of the gathering of300,000 and declared, "I came to America to save its young people from immorality and make them the youth of hope." The speech was interrupted many times my shouts and applause. The teachings of Rev. Moon from the East provided a new inspiration to American young people living in an age of confusion. They shouted in agreement with my message of sexual purity and true families. The reception was so enthusiastic that it made me sweat with excitement as well.

Newsweek, in a year end pictorial review of the major events of 1976, carried my photograph and referred to me as part of "the revivalism of the 1970s." On the other hand, an increasing number of people were beginning to look at me with caution and fear. To them, I was nothing more than a strange magician who had come from the East. I was not a white man in whom they could place their faith and follow. The fact that I was saying things that were somewhat different from what they had heard in their churches made them feel very insecure. In particular, they could not allow a situation where white young people were showing respect to and following "an Asian with slender long eyes like a fish." They began spreading rumors that I had been brainwashing innocent white young people. This group that opposed me gathered in the background, behind those who were shouting their support. I knew that another crisis was about to befall me. I was not afraid, however, because I was clearly doing what was right.

America is a country with a great deal of racial and religious discrimination. It is widely known as a country of freedom and equality where people of all races come to realize their American dream. In fact, however, there is a great deal of struggle stemming from racial and religious discrimination. These are difficult to cure chronic illnesses that are embedded deep within America's history, and are much more serious than the social diseases such as immorality and materialism that arose out of the affluence of the 1970s.

About this time, I was often visiting African-American churches, in an effort to foster ecumenical harmony. Among Black leaders, there some who, in the manner of Dr. King, were working without public recognition to do away with racial discrimination and bring about God's world of peace.

Some of these ministers had images hanging in their basements of slave markets that existed for hundreds of years prior to their being outlawed. One of these was of a Black man being burned alive while hanging from a tree. Another was of Black men and women stripped of their clothes being looked over like merchandise by potential slave buyers. Another was of a Black baby crying as it was being taken away from its mother One could hardly believe that human beings had been capable of the barbaric acts depicted so clearly in those images.

-Wait and see," I told a gathering in Chicago on October 24,1975. -Within the next 30 years, there will be a President of the United States who was born into an interracial Black and White family." /   The prophecy I made that day has now come true in America with the inauguration of President Barack Obama, who spent much of his adult life in Chicago. This prophecy did not come true on its own. Many people shed their blood and sweat to do away with the struggles among religions and denominations, and those efforts have now finally bloomed as one blossom.



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