Thursday, September 20, 2012

International Day of Peace

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By Diane Forrest

The world has been shocked by the recent murder of American Ambassador Christopher Stephens in Egypt.  That set off a series of other protests and army attacks. Then the unrest moved to other parts of the world.  News of impending wars in Egypt and violence in Afghan and violence in China.  The fury in the Islamic Nation and the prospect of Iran building a nuclear bomb.  Even in the USA there are random acts of violence such as the shootings in Colorado and various places across the country.

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According to Wikipedia, the International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples. To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as "a reminder of the human cost of war"; the inscription on its side reads, "Long live absolute world peace".

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Individuals can also wear White Peace Doves to commemorate the International Day of Peace, which are badges in the shape of a dove produced by a non-profit organization in Canada.

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The first occurrence was in 1982, and this year there thousands of planned activities including school activities, music concerts, global comedy clubs (www.thinkPEACE.net), peace doves, prayer vigils, peace conferences and U.N. activities.
To see how you can help or things to do, visit these sites:  www.cultureofpeace.org , www.UN.org , www.wiserearth.org , www.thinkPEACE.net or search "peace day events."

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