9th Annual International Peace Day Celebrated in Boone on Monday, Sept. 21

Published Friday, September 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Boone’s celebration of the International Day of Peace is in its ninth year, and vibrant as it ever was. The day of peace is a call for cessation of arms on a global scale. Since 2001, the day is celebrated annually on Sept. 21.

Events range from intimate discussions, to school workshops, community parades, globally celebrated moments of silence, art exhibits, lectures and concerts. In conflict zones, events are much bolder, where a cessation of fighting equates to travel without fear, a chance to visit family, and access to food and medicine.

The events in Boone reach hundreds of High County residents, young and old, and it is the hope that many go home and think a little bit more about what ‘peace’ means. Is peace within us or beyond our reach? Is it necessary only in conflict zones and refugee camps? Is it distributing food and health care needs to the most desperate of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers? Is it breathing deeply, slowing our responses to stress and anger? Is it embracing the simple needs of another as we listen intently? Is it sharing our sensitivities via artistic expression? Is it access to clean water? As a group of ‘Mountain Peacemakers’ our goal is to engage all of these questions into the discussion of peace.

FIXE_0168We will each answer these questions as uniquely as we ourselves are; reflecting on our own foundations, culture, and experience. Exploring them is the first step. It is a common hope that the International Day of Peace serves as an inspiration to explore the many questions posed in this brief press release. The answers take years to work out – and we, the Mountain Peacemakers, engage you, the reader, to a lifelong quest for peace in your own lives.

This year’s theme is Partnerships for Peace, Dignity for All. Each year’s theme offers both a stopping point and lens to address global issues for peace in a new context as well as an opportunity to realize the complexity of creating peace in our community. Past themes have focused on sustainability, interpersonal violence, and even the simple question, “Who will you make peace with.” This year’s theme, Partnerships for Peace, Dignity for All, engages us to consider how we can collaborate with individuals, institutions, and nations to realize fully the goals of peace and justice.  Dignity reminds us that although our situations are diverse, our humanity is central.

Please take a moment to enjoy the World Peace flags in downtown Boone donated by Basic Humanity Inc and join us for all or some of the following events in recognition of the International Day of Peace.

On Monday, September 21st, events begin with a Gentle Yoga class offered at 9:30am with Vicki Rodriguez at Neighborhood Yoga on Shanti Way. There is a $14.00 fee associated with this class. At 11:00am in the Watauga County Library Meeting Room, Bob Snead and Kati Hamm will host a Meditation on Peace and a chance for deep, personal introspection regarding peace.

At Noon, join the Mountain Peacemakers and local community members on the lawn of the Watauga County Library as we take a moment to recognize in silence, the intention of the day, a call for ceasefire. The moment of silence breaks with the Dances of Universal Peace. Akal Dev Sharonne will lead Dances of Universal Peace from 12-12:30 PM. According to Samuel Lewis, creator of the Dances of Universal Peace, “The spiritual dance has no other purpose, no other aim than to elevate humankind beyond self-thought, to joy, to bliss, to realization and to peace. The sincere dancer is one of the best workers for universal harmony, and so for universal peace.” No dance experience is necessary. Participants sing sacred phrases to the accompaniment of live music, while joining in simple movements. And, remember, no matter where you are, you can share in the Moment of Silence at noon. Take a moment, a breath, a stretch, for PEACE.

Elkland Art Center will host the 9th annual Boone Peace Day Sidewalk Parade, full of all the color and wonder we expect from this group of artists out of Todd, North Carolina. Meet at 3:45 on the lawn of the Watauga County Library. Parade items are available for use during the sidewalk parade.

At 6:30pm, the Mountain Peacemakers and Appalachian Mountain Brewery combine efforts as we continue the day’s call and intentions. Artistic expression is an everlasting opportunity to engage in peace more directly in a personal or communal way. The Mountain Peacemakers will have a community art project, ‘Mountain Justice,’ set up for collective art making. Appalachian Mountain Brewery’s own Drink and Draw event is happening as well. All ages are welcome.

The Farm Café will host a Peaceful Plate all day to honor the relationship our food choices have on the concept of peace. The café is also home to the art work of students from both Two Rivers Community School and Parkway Elementary. Throughout September, you can also visit the Jones House Community and Cultural Center for the Visions of Peace juried art show in the Mazie Jones Gallery. Please visit upstairs in the Jones House for student art from Watauga High School.

Our Daily Bread is hosting Beers for Peace all day at the restaurant with a wide selection of local and regional brews from which to choose. This is a great opportunity to support ongoing efforts for future International Day of Peace events in Boone.

More details at available at www.mountainpeacemakers.org.

We hope to see you all as we mark the 70th Anniversary of the UN International Day of Peace: Partnerships for Peace, Dignity for All.

Check out pictures of a previous year’s parade.

Photos by Ken Ketchie

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