Wednesday, September 21, 2016

International Day of Peace 2016

No more is this annual celebration of greater significance than today, when so many are beaten down and discouraged by such divisive world events playing out in our home turfs and affecting us personally.

wonder | wander | women were caught between such an excruciating rock and a hard place on a visit back to the Philippines last May that we vowed never to return on an election year. Normally known for their warmth and hospitality, our families, friends and fellow Filipinos were unrecognizable. 

Then upon her return to the UK in June, Mahala was greeted with the chaotic turmoil and shocking outcome of the Brexit vote.

Back home in the US, the nation and its citizens are sick to the core over this whole electoral circus. Speculation about the 2016 campaign began almost immediately following the 2012 vote. We are all dreading yet hopeful over what is to unfold come November. 

So today is a reprieve we are aching and ready for. We are eager to celebrate such a longed for peace and start the healing in whatever way possible. 

The International Day of Peace, at times unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world 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 camps, military groups, and peoples. In 2013, for the first time, this day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably. 

To inaugurate the day, the United Nations 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. It 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.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. 

"Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind." - UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon 

The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”

Where do we see the greatest impact on Peace Day, 21 September? From governments, NGOs, corporations? 

No, the greatest impact on Peace Day comes from individuals.  It comes from us. Hail Peace!

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