The Words of the Ohtsuka Family
Moscow and Zelenograd, Russia -- "We Pursue Peace" was the theme of the September 21 International Day of Peace celebration at the Russian State Humanitarian University, supported by the Universal Peace Federation and the Model UN Secretariat. On September 20, UPF participated in the "March for Peace organized by the Federation of Peace and Concord in Moscow. In nearby Zelenograd, students in school No. 1923 honored the International Day of Peace by observing a Minute of Silence.
We called upon students to mark this day by observing a minute of silence for the sake of world peace and handed candles of peace to each participant. Each of us was challenged to do our utmost in the sphere of our competence to make some change in the direction of establishing world peace.
Students made inscriptions on the wings of little paper doves, calling upon humanity to consider a very simple idea, that the world means ourselves, and what will become of it depends on us.
We asked the first-year students what, in their opinion, the word "world" could mean. They answered that "the world means one big family, and we should take care of its each member, giving them all our love and kindness." On this beautiful sunny day, we truly felt like members of one big family.
Among the participants of the event there were students and teachers. The general friendly and inspiring atmosphere evoked their desire to actively promote the idea of the world peace.
The International Day of Peace was proclaimed in 1982 by the UN General Assembly as the cease-fire and non-violation day. The purpose is to inspire people not only to think of peace, but also invest their efforts.
The UN uses the International Day of Peace to draw attention to its multifaceted efforts to promote peace and people of different groups and communities on our planet the opportunity to reflect on the challenges of peace-building, exchange information, and practice peacemaking.
On September 20, on the eve of the International Day of Peace, the Federation of Peace and Concord of Moscow organized a March for Peace, an educational and peacemaking activity for youth. Among the participants of the event were children and youth, NGO activists, children from Moscow and Moscow regional schools, creative teams, and prize-winners of regional and international artistic competitions and festivals.
The March for Peace schedule included a "Lesson of Peace," during which representatives of organizations reported about their participation in activities, programs, and projects for children and youth that promote a culture of peace. The Young Ambassadors for Peace of the Universal Peace Federation presented their volunteer educational programs.
The activity was followed by the theatrical performance on the theme: "The world without borders," showcasing the creative works and culture of Japan, Tatarstan, Russia, and Bulgaria. After the event, the participants stayed a long time sharing in the hall, exchanging personal contact information, and making plans for future cooperation to make a better world.
On the Day of Peace, September 21, at 12:00 pm everything came to a standstill at the school ? 1923 in Zelenograd, near Moscow. Everybody joined together in a Minute of Silence. Pressing their right hands to their hearts, in the noble impulse and desire to live in peace, children and teachers stood together expressing their solidarity with all the people of the world.
Then, guided by the sounds of bagpipes, children gathered at their school building for a Lesson on Peace. They recited poetry and sang songs about peace in English and Russian. At the end, they released into the sky 200 balloons, each carrying pods of snow-white doves with wishes of peace on their wings.
They issued the following Declaration:
Peace -- to the world!
Today and tomorrow!
Peace -- to the world!
Glance back, look around:
The world is our home.
Troubles should not shadow our home,
We all vote for PEACE,
For smiley mornings,
For kind songs and holy dreams.
Let the children of the earth
march bravely towards peace.
We declare -- Peace to the world
In the name of the whole humanity!
The "Our world yesterday, today and tomorrow" activity was initiated by the school museum with the support of the Universal Peace Federation and officials of Zelenograd.