HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. — A world tour for a flame from Bethlehem made one of its stops in Hasbrouck Heights Friday night, Dec. 18 to enlighten local Scouts.
Cub Scout Pack 17 held its fifth-annual Peace Light Ceremony at Corpus Christi Church Friday night to spread a message of peace.
For the past 26 years, a child from Austria lights two lamps from the fire of the Bethlehem nativity scene. It then travels to Vienna and most of Europe by Christmas.
America entered the travel schedule in 2002 and for five years Hasbrouck Heights made the list of stops.
Scout leader Henry Hahn said the kids love it each time.
"I see the families of our boys working together for peace and it makes me proud to be the Cubmaster of Hasbrouck Heights Pack 17," Hahn said.
The light acts as a visible reminder of the mission to keep the hope of peace alive in the world, Hahn said.
Deacon Vincent DeFedele spoke about the history behind the light and its deeper meaning.
"The prophet Isaiah, long ago, spoke these words," DeFedele said, "'The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.'"
The Scouts lit each other's candles from the master flame. The crowd then sang together, flames still burning, the lyrics of "Let There Be Peace on Earth."
The holiday spirit continued after the ceremony as people sang carols outside the church.
Eagle Scout Tim Hahn, no relation to the current Scout leader, initially started the tradition when he was in high school. Tim Hahn and his father connected with Peace Light and now travel to JFK Airport in New York to retrieve it each year.
"It's a great thing to see all these Scouts come out," Tim Hahn said. "It's great for the holiday season. It's like a feel-good moment."