Peace Day 2008 - People Building Peace

The rains held off in Calgary, in several provinces in Afghanistan NATO forces and the Taliban honoured the United Nations' request for a ceasefire, and millions around the world participated in celebrating the International Day of Peace, Sunday September 21. Peace prevailed for a day! Here in Calgary 75 people, from 8 months to 86 years, travelled quietly amidst large flags, peace balloons and Fall colours from Eau Claire plaza to the Peace Park at 8th Street SW. Once at the park Kim Cox, Cherokee spokesperson, recalled our thanks for the land and gratitude to the Blackfoot nation for their generosity. She called on the Earth Spirit to bless our efforts to bring peace. Alderman Joe Ceci commended those who work for peace and used keeping Calgary clean as an example of small actions we can all take. Mugasa Sammy, Mennonite Central Committee, outlined the progress of bringing a peace pole sculpture to Calgary, and the fact that we are still needing up to $50,000, but seeking especially the connection with groups across the city. Erica Robinson, Soka Gakkai International Buddhist group (SGI), was the enthusiastic M.C.. Tents with peace items and children's activities festooned the area. Possibly for the first time in Calgary, sixty people formed a human version of the 'Ban the Bomb' peace sign (the letters 'ND' in semaphore, short for 'Nuclear Disarmament'). The most mesmerizing moment of the afternoon was witnessing a Tai Chi demonstration where the slow-motion movements were backed by haunting music played by DJ group Blulite, and brilliant singer Emma. Attendees left looking forward to next year's celebration on the same date and uplifted by the music, presentations and company.