On Roosevelt Island

Go Fly A Kite! (For Peace) Autumn, FDR Four Freedoms Park

Updated 1 year ago David Stone
Kites at FDR Four Freedoms Park
Kites at FDR Four Freedoms Park
Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, ©Sean Cheah | Quixxle Photography

Kites may thrill us because they awaken our dreams of flying. Teamed with kite master Archie Stewart, FDR Four Freedoms tries to bring that dream closer while honoring International Peace Day. Kite Flight for Peace takes place on September 24th and 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Late every summer when I was a kid, the local store started selling kites. You had to put them together yourself and figure out how to keep them in the air. Was the tail long enough? Too long?

Honestly, I damaged one or two just assembling them.

Then, one cloudy, cool Saturday, I got my kite up in the air. The ball of string I had wrapped around a wooden spindle unspooled for the first time. What a thrill, watching my kite reaching farther into the sky than I ever had!

Too much thrill - mesmerized, I failed to hold the string tight enough and my kite crashed while I chased the freed spindle, hoping I could catch it before it was too late.

Where was Archie Stewart when I needed him?

How To Get Your Kite Flight Skills the Right Way

First, do as I say, not as I did.

Kite Flight is a free event from FDR Four Freedoms Park. Registration is not required.

FDR Four Freedoms Park wants to help kids of all ages and grown ups experience the joys of kite flying in one of the most beautifully graceful settings in all of New York City, the landscaped lawn leading down the bust of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. To that end, they are bringing kite educator Archie Stewart to Roosevelt Island for the Kite Flight for Peace event on September 24th. (Rain date for Stewart's demonstration is September 25th.)

Stewart will stage a demonstration of expertise using kites of different shapes and sizes. More important, for many of us, he will stick around to teach us how to fly kites safely. FDR Four Freedoms takes it a step farther by setting up a free kite-making workshop on both days.

Kite lovers will be thrilled, but as Four Freedoms notes, "Visitors of all ages will discover the fun of constructing and flying their very own kite, guaranteed to soar in the lightest of winds."

Guaranteed. Spelled another way, that's "exciting."

(See a slide show for Kite Flight for Peace by clicking here.)

Go Fly a Kite For Peace

September 21st is International Peace Day.

Says President and CEO Sally Minard, "Four Freedoms Park is thrilled to host a weekend of free kite-making workshops that introduce people of all ages to the joy of flying kites. Around the world, kites hold special meaning as symbols of peace. In celebration of the UN’s International Peace Week, we encourage visitors to come to the Park and design kites that represent what peace means – and looks like – to them."

International Peace Day was declared by the United Nations and first celebrated in 1982, the date chosen to coincide with each year's U.N. General Assembly.

As much fun as there is inherent in Kite Flight for Peace, it couldn't be more appropriate for FDR Four Freedoms Park. Without Franklin Delano Roosevelt's leadership in winning World War II and the passion for peace that followed, the United Nations would probably never have been formed.

Moreover, the the principles expressed in FDR's Four Freedoms Speech (It was actually his State of the Union speech) in 1941 have served as guides for peacemakers ever since.

While having fun, celebrate also the imperfect but powerful presence of peace in the world. We are not where we want to be yet as an international community, but we've made our way a good distance in that direction.

Fly a kite to celebrate.

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