The International Day of Peace, celebrated on September 21, was declared by the United Nations General Assembly as a day for us to strengthen global ideals of peace, within ourselves and among all people of the world.
This year’s theme, “Education for Peace,” is close to the heart and the founding core of the Loretto Community.
“It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies.”
Also known as World Peace Day, the International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by a resolution of the UN General Assembly, and was scheduled to coincide with its opening session each fall.
The first annual observance in 1982 began the tradition of ringing the Peace Bell at UN headquarters in New York City to honor the day. The bell, cast from coins donated by children from around the world, was a gift from the UN Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war.” The inscription on the bell reads “Long live absolute world peace.”
The UN invites all nations to observe a ceasefire in war zones on September 21 to allow for humanitarian aid, and calls for a commemoration of the day through the promotion of education and public awareness issues related to peace.
As we count down to the International Day of Peace, the Loretto Peace Committee and Loretto and the UN will collaborate to highlight activities and events that constellate the themes of peace and education.
The Loretto Community website calendar will soon feature suggestions from the Peace Committee about things we can do individually and as a group to honor the approach of this special day.
Together we will cultivate a spirit of inner peace and pray for a nonviolent end to all global conflict.