Next week, millions of people across the world will set aside their differences and come together in peace for the United Nations International Day of Peace.
In our community, the Wellington Rotary Club will host a world peace ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 21 beginning at 11 a.m. at the Wellington Rotary Peace Park on Royal Fern Drive in Wellington.
Since its inception in 1981, the International Day of Peace has been a time for people around the world to devote time and commit themselves to peace and promoting peaceful ideals. The goal of the event is a noble one — urging all of us to look toward understanding and compromise, and promote peaceful resolution rather than waging war against those we disagree with.
Whether you attend Saturday’s event or just take a moment for quiet reflection, we encourage everyone to take time to think about bringing about peace — whether it’s in your personal life, the community, the country or the world.
Lessons of peace begin with each of us. It is up to us as individuals to pass on messages of peace, whether it’s by talking with our children about ways to settle conflicts, or simply turning the other cheek to avoid a fight.
It is fitting that the International Day of Peace should come on the heels of 9/11, when our nation reflects on such a violent tragedy. This week, the community marked the occasion with somber ceremonies that honored the loved ones lost that day, and all of those who continue to put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.
Our nation has come a long way since that day. We have come together and faced tragedy, emerging with a greater appreciation for working together in harmony. We have seen firsthand what happens when peaceful resolutions are bypassed for acts of war.
And we have seen the value in taking time to consider people of other cultures, with other understandings of the world, and attempt to find common ground. These values are promoted each year by Rotary International and the United Nations.
The International Day of Peace is also an annual day of non-violence and cease fire. It is a moment for people across the world to pause and consider the plight of another — to consider how they can make the world a more peaceful place.
So as the world stops for a moment next week, we encourage each and every one of you to pause with them and dedicate even a moment of your time to bring awareness to this goal. It is only through greater understanding that we can achieve world peace.
The Wellington Rotary Club’s world peace ceremony is free and open to the public. The Wellington Rotary Peace Park is located at the corner of Royal Fern and Birkdale drives, near Elbridge Gale Elementary School. For more information, visit www.wellingtonrotary.org.