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Peace Day 2012

Eugene Peace Team observed International Day of Peace Sept. 21, 2012  as humanity joined together to build a new Culture of Peace - a Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future. Thousands of organizations and hundreds of millions of people worldwide took part in the largest global observance of the UN International Day of Peace ever held on or around September 21st. Some events started on Sept. 11th for 11 Days of Global Unity; others extended to Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on Oct. 2nd for the International Day of Non-Violence. People of all nationalities will pause at 12:00 noon on September 21st to take a Minute of Silence - Moment of Peace in a "Peace Wave" in all time zones across the planet. 

United Nations' Purpose of Peace Day 2012 "Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future"

What is Sustainability? The world’s population of 7 billion is likely to increase to 9 billion by 2050. The demand for diminishing natural resources is growing. Income gaps are widening. Sustainability calls for a decent standard of living for everyone today without compromising the needs of future generations. This means finding better ways of doing things. Such as: How can we help people move out of poverty and get good jobs, while protecting the environment?

  • How can we provide access to clean energy for everyone, and make sure that the energy we produce doesn’t contribute to climate change?
  • How can we make sure that everyone can get the water, food and nutrition they need?
  • How can we shape our cities so that everyone can enjoy a decent quality of life?
  • How can we build better transportation systems that allow us all to get where we want to go, without causing too much congestion and pollution?
  • How can we make sure that our oceans are healthy and that marine life is not threatened by pollution and climate change?
  • How can we make sure that our communities are resilient in the face of natural disasters?Solving these challenges is a start to building the future we want.

International Day of Peace - Eugene

Miracles do happen! -- by Ann Acker

On my deck, I spotted a new flower.  After being dormant for 2 years, my late husband's rose bush produced a flaming red, perfect flower on a tall stem; a gift from heaven.

It was a chilly morning as I wandered down to the EWEB fountain by the river.  People were beginning to gather for the celebration.  I spotted John Attig sitting on the concrete wall and went over to greet him and give him an update on my friend, Lura Pierce who couldn't be there. I also connected up with Pat Anderson who was filming the event.

Then I found a comfortable place on another part of the wall and waited for the ceremony to begin.  Soon, there was guitar music and microphones set up for the speeches.  After the greetings by David Hazen, we all sang with prompts from the music man who also emptied a bag of noisy, fun percussion accompaniment instruments for people to pick up.   The mayor, Kitty Piercy, read the declaration of City of Peace Day and was followed by instructions by David about getting into a large circle which included a display of the "peace quilt".  He asked us to join hands and introduce ourselves to our neighbors.  I had the pleasure of sitting next to Karen Higgins another friend. 

I had a feeling of high expectations about being part of this peace movement and also missing Lura who was so involved in the planning.  The anticipation of the countdown to noon as David held the baton ready to strike the gong, was electric.  The crowd hushed and every face I could see was smiling, including mine.  GONG!  One minute of silence and we were at peace with the universe.  GONG again and we were still quiet.

David introduced the Peace Choir and they sang two inspiring songs.  There was silence in the circle.

Afterwards, we met the middle school teacher, JoAnn, who brought her 8th graders (from Hamlin Middle School) to join in the celebration.  John Attig invited us all to join him in a walk across the DeFazio Bridge to the Nobel Peace Park and how he is seeing his dream come true after 9 years of planning.  The 8th grade students had signs and introduced us to some of the Nobel Peace Prize recipients they had studied.

I watched the big trucks digging and moving the earth around behind the chainlink fence and I felt at peace once again.

Evening Event

Each person who walked in was handed the picture of a flag from a country, announced "May there be peace in (that country)", and then put the flag on the floor in a circle around a peace pole. 

Paula Berry is a retired Olympic javelin thrower. She spoke about how passion, vision and action can lead us to Peace as the Only Gold.

David Hazen ended the program with a 15-minute demonstration of the Eugene Peace Team Map.

KEZI TV news report includes coverage of Pinwheels for Peace at O'Hara Catholic School

OTHER SCHOOLS participating:
Hamlin Middle School brought JoAnne Allen's 8th grade class to the noon event, accompanied by Keslie Down and Principal Dennis Gray. They brought small placards that celebrate in verse or images all of the US Nobel Peace Laureates, and named them out loud at the Nobel Peace Park.
Walterville School had an anti-discrimination assembly organized by Ms. Katy Stocks, "teacher of the year."

Churchill High School  had a moment of silence, poetry from students, and music from the amazing Downing Street singers leading the crowd in peace songs.

CHURCHES participating:
Westminster Presbyterian's "Faith and Art" group brought a peace quilt they had made to the noon event, and the church bells were rung at noon.

Eugene Peace Day 2012 coordinators: 

Deborah Aikens, Rhythm of Peace

John Attig, Nobel Peace Park

David Hazen, Eugene City of Peace

Lisa Iacovetta, Peace Village

Anne Millhollen, Beyond War

Lura Pierce, Nobel Peace Park

Betsy Steffensen, Peace Caucus, Democratic Party

PeaceDay.TV Livestream of global events

Push4Peace video from the garden at UN headquarters. (10 mins) I am sincerely proud to know personally, and have hugged, three of the four people in this video (Dot Maver,Philip Hellmich, and Fred Arment)! I am excited to see them wearing the same "banner of peace" pin that I received from Dot in 2010. I hope you have taken the pledge at push4peace.org and committed yourself to small, regular actions for peace.                          -- David

Banner of Peace pin

Photos by Paul Garrett:

Photo by Carol Vanlue:
Photo by Ann Acker:

Karen Keady of Westminster Presbyterian with the peace quilt

Hamlin 8th grade at Nobel Peace Park

Although I couldn't attend the noon event on September 21 because of surgery, my fabric artist friend, Carol Vanlue, took part in the silence circle, came home and made me a pillowcase of peace to celebrate the beauty and promise of the day.  Dreams and actions of peace in the future for all! 

 -- Lura Pierce

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Aug 23, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Sep 8, 2012, 3:22 PM