World Peace Day this Saturday, Sept. 21
By Sam Desmond
Coming off the success of last year’s engaging International Peace Day celebration at the Sayville Common Ground Park (between Gillette and Candee avenues in downtown Sayville), progressive groups will be hosting this year’s International Peace Day on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the same popular venue. The event, organized as part of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace worldwide celebration, is held in anticipation of the UN’s Climate Action Summit the following Monday, where world leaders will discuss practical and actionable plans to realize and accelerate the worldwide goals of the Paris agreement.
This year’s World Peace Day in Sayville has been organized by local Long Island groups: South Country Peace Group, Suffolk Progressive Vision, North Country Peace Group, Women in Black, Code Pink and Veterans for Peace. With the muse of visionary child climate activist Greta Thunberg, who sailed solo to New York last week, serving as inspiration, the event’s organizers hope to motivate the young global citizens in attendance at the event to engage in discussions of this year’s World Peace Day theme, “Climate Action for Peace.” The evening will feature activities and contests for the children with speakers, musicians, singers and poets performing throughout the event.
International Day of Peace (aka World Peace Day) was officially sanctioned by the UN in 1981 with the motto of “Long live absolute peace.” Each year, on Sept. 21, the day begins with the official ringing of the Peace Bell at UN Headquarters in New York City. The Peace Bell, cast from coins donated by children from around the world, symbolizes the mission of peace as paramount to the well-being of our youth. Last year, 764 celebrations were recorded for World Peace Day, with 233 in the United States and Canada.
What to expect:
Starting at 6 p.m. people can mix and mingle before speeches and climate change poetry begins. Nuclear peace activist Paul Ames and Jennifer Greene will speak as well as Diane Atkinson, poet; Melissa Parrott, a local environmental activist for students; and Bill McNulty, a WUSB radio host. Then, there will be kids’ tables for awards, reiki zone and meditation with Barbra Fitzpatrick, a peace pole demo, raffles, and a guided labyrinth walk.
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