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King’s Gift To Queens Stands As A Piller Of Peace – QNS.com

King’s Gift To Queens Stands As A Piller Of Peace

As hundreds of world leaders from Presidents Clinton, Bush, Ford and Carter to prime ministers and potentates — gathered in Amman on Monday for the funeral of Jordan’s King Hussein, here in Queens a 1,800 year old gift from the King stood quietly and practically unknown.
Called the "Whispering Column of Jerash" the 25 foot high stone pillar is located in a section of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park where the occasional biker or jogger pass by this ancient relic from the Middle East, with no idea that it was presented by King Hussein as a permanent gift to the Park. Hussein personally came to the site in April 1964 to present the pillar in commemoration of Jordan’s participation in the World’s Fair. At the time, the pillar stood surrounded by the Pavilion of Jordan, one of the most spectacular of the 62 foreign buildings at the exposition. But today, without the structures that made up the Fair’s international section, the pillar stands incongruously alone in the middle of a field.
A stone plaque, however, is imbedded in the grass a few feet from the column that explains that it was presented "to the City of New York by His Majesty King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan." The plaque says that it was received by Robert Moses, the president of the Fair and explains the background of the gift. "This is one of many columns in a temple erected by the Romans in 120 A.D. that stood in the Roman City of Jerash, Jordan. The columns are known as the "Whispering Columns of Jerash," the plaque reads.
The column has stood undisturbed in the Park through the 1967 six day war, the 1970s Yom Kippur War, the most recent Gulf War and other mideast upheavals. With the death of the 63-year-old King who ruled his country for 45 years, leaders from Israel joined Arabs in saluting the King who moved away from war to become a fighter for peace in his region. Fittingly, today the Whispering Column of Jerash stands peacefully just a short distance away from the New York City Building, the home of the Queens Museum, which was the site where the State of Israel was created by the United Nations in 1947.

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