By September 20, 2013 Read More →

Peace Bell Ceremony, Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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It is 9am, and despite New York’s unpredictable weather, the skies were blue and the sun was shining on the Rose Garden and on the gathering around the Peace Bell. In this gathering was UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon, President of the General Assembly John Ashe, Goodwill Ambassador Dr. Jane Goodall and UN Youth Champion Monique Coleman.

There were also more than 300 students from all over the world present at the ringing of the bell, raising the flags of their respective countries for the ceremony. The ceremony itself was short and sweet, with the Secretary-General speaking about the theme for the International Day of Peace, ”Education for Peace” and how education is the one of the most certain ways to peace.

President of the 68th General Assembly John Ashe spoke about ending conflict and violence in the world, and how the ringing of the Peace Bell should be a poignant reminder for people to think carefully about perpetuating a culture of violence. There was music, there was silence and there was, perhaps my favorite part of the morning, the releasing of the peace doves. The Secretary-General called for a minute of silence and at its conclusion, the doves were released.

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There is the phrase “birds of a-feather flock together”; the doves left the garden together, flew in the exact same direction together and returned to their home together. When talking about peace, and wanting to cultivate a culture of peace, this is exactly what we need. We need the support of one another, of like minded people to give us the courage and capacity to be able to head towards the same goal. In a way, we are all peace doves, we all want peace. We just have to make sure we do not forget who we are and what we mean to one another; then we can fly free.

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