Fittingly, peace was the focus at Marine Peace Park Saturday.
In keeping with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, Jenny Carter, minister at First United Church in Salmon Arm, invited the public to an Hour of Peace at the park on Saturday afternoon.
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on Sept. 21. The General Assembly declared it as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
Under blue skies and brilliant sunshine, Carter invited those present to take time to think about their vision of peace.
Neskonlith councillor and knowledge keeper Louis Thomas spoke, as well as Mayor Alan Harrison. Patrick Ryley provided songs suitable to the occasion on his guitar.
Thomas talked about his people joining the World War efforts, but noted they did not take up weapons before that, adding with a laugh that otherwise settlers wouldn’t be in the area.
Harrison referred to his experience in education. When young ones asked about peace on Remembrance Day, they were told they could make a difference in their world by treating others with kindness and respect.
To close the gathering, Laurie Page directed those present in the formation of a human peace sign.
The United Nations’ website explains that the United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, with the understanding that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure their rights were protected. The Sustainable Goals cover a broad range of issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.
￼The 2019 Theme for the International Day of Peace was “Climate Action for Peace,” based on Sustainable Development Goal 13, Climate Action. It calls for immediate action by all to lower greenhouse emissions, build resilience and improve education on climate change. The theme draws attention to the importance of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world.
States the website: “Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts, forcing millions to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. The salinization of water and crops is endangering food security, and the impact on public health is escalating. The growing tensions over resources and mass movements of people are affecting every country on every continent.”