OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) - The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum will honor PeacePlayers International with the 2016 Reflections of Hope Award November 14, at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brendan and Sean Tuohey, two brothers from Washington, DC, spent time coaching youth basketball in Northern Ireland, in a region where nearly everything was segregated by religion. PeacePlayers International creates a safe and neutral space where young people can form deep personal bonds and lasting friendships. Through the program, more than 75,000 youngsters from the U.S., South Africa, Northern Ireland, Cyprus and the Middle East have developed friendships and mutual respect bridging ethnic, racial and cultural divides.
"PeacePlayers International is uniting young people, the next generation of leaders, in countries all over the world affected by armed conflicts and the religious and ethnic differences that divide communities. Using the game of basketball, they are creating bonds in places where diplomacy and non-violent conflict resolution has not succeeded, inspiring every player, parent and coach to make the world a more peaceful place," said Kari Watkins, Executive Director, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
The Reflections of Hope Award honors a living person or currently active organization that exemplifies two core beliefs of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum; that hope can survive and blossom despite the tragedy and chaos of political violence and that even in environments marred by such violence, peaceful, nonviolent approaches provide the best answers.
This year also marks the inaugural Oklahoma Standard Award. This award will be presented to Katie Prior, founder of Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps, a service organization for high school trumpet players who sound Taps at military funerals. Katie exemplifies the Oklahoma Standard through her Acts of Service, Honor and Kindness.
Katie has accomplished many remarkable things, but her most inspirational is the work she completed on her Girl Scout Gold Award project. Katie discovered there were not enough people available to play live Taps at veterans' funerals. Her goal was to train volunteers to fill the gap and ensure that veterans receive the recognition and respect they deserve upon their death. Despite meeting all the criteria for the Gold Award, Katie has not stopped her dedication to the program. In fact, she started her own nonprofit organization, Youth Trumpet and Taps Corps, and continues to train volunteers in several states across the country. Katie embodies the Oklahoma Standard by willingly giving her time to not only play live Taps at veterans' funerals, but she also trains others to do the same, never forgetting the service these men and women have given to their country.
"Katie exemplifies what we are looking for in the spreading the Oklahoma Standard. She understands that service, honor and kindness set us apart in our response now more than 21 years ago and it is these simple lessons we want to pass to the next generations and new Oklahomans," said Mike Turpen, Memorial Trustee Chairman.