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Today is the U.N. International Day of Peace, or Peace Day

News File Photo A group of children surround the Peace Pole dedicated in September 2019 at the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena. The pole was designed and painted by Ginny Titus, seen smiling behind the children in this photo. It was dedicated as part of the Alpena Peace Coalition’s 30 Days of Peace, which has been canceled for 2020, but will reconvene next year.

“For peace sake, care about and protect every person on Earth — all creatures and all creation.”

That’s the message Alpena Peace Coalition would like everyone to ponder today, which is the United Nations International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, according to Carol Skiba, coordinator of the Alpena Peace Coalition.

The group normally heads up the 30 Days of Peace events in September and October each year, but this year’s events have been canceled due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ll meet again soon,” Skiba said, noting that the 30 Days of Peace will reconvene in 2021. She added that local parishes have some of their own events still planned, such as the St. Paul Lutheran Church Blessing of the Animals. Individual events will be announced as they are submitted by each of the participating churches.

Skiba added that it is so important especially during this challenging time to remember to strive for and celebrate peace.

International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Twenty years later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate Peace Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire, according to www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace.

The U.N. invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities during Peace Day, and to otherwise commemorate the day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

The 2020 theme of Peace Day is “Shaping Peace Together.”

“This year, it has been clearer than ever that we are not each other’s enemies. Rather, our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere,” a statement on the U.N. International Day of Peace website states.

The U.N. encourages everyone to spread kindness and hope for the future today.

“Celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic,” the website states. “Stand together with the U.N. against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us so that we can shape peace together.”

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