MISSOULA — Twenty years ago, an infamous and iconic symbol sitting on the North Hills outside of Missoula was removed.
On Friday, the reassembled Missoula Peace Sign made its debut back to town at First Friday. Behind the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, a crowd gathered to see the image in its glory and celebrate its return. Storytelling and music ushered in the peaceful event. The event ended with a ribbon cutting of the sign.
Graffiti to some and artwork to others, the original material was a microwave reflector painted over and over again right outside of town. In 2001 the sign was disassembled - each piece separated and preserved until they could be reunited again.
Jim Parker, Jeannette Rankin Peace Center member, told the audience the story of the peace symbol, and spoke with MTN News.
"For many people who grew up in Missoula in those days, they'd always come home and they knew they were home and they'd look up into the hills and see the peace sign," Parker said.
Now, it's a 24 foot high permanent art installation for all to see.
"Over the years, peace activists, veterans for peace, and all sorts of folks from all walks of life have found something important for them about having that peace sign over their shoulder protecting our Valley," Parker said.
To learn more about the "pieces of peace" and its history visit the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center in downtown Missoula.