September 1, 2016
By George D’Angelo
The International Day of Peace, observed globally every year on September 21st, has a history of peaceful gatherings throughout the world. This year, the Pittsburgh observances will highlight the need to curb violence in our neighborhoods, especially among youth. The day will focus on the United Nations’ theme of “Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace,” and the UN’s call for a global ceasefire.
Leading up to Peace Day, on Sunday, September 18th, from 3-5 p.m., a Peace Festival will be held at Point Grove, Lakeshore Drive, North Park. The festival will feature family activities, ethnic foods and an international flag ceremony with 193 national flags.
On Wednesday, September, 21st, at 12:00 noon there will be a rally against violence at the City County Building Portico, 414 Grant St. The 12 Noon Minute of Silence that is recognized worldwide will be observed. There will be comments by the Mayor and other City and County officials. Additionally, victims will give an impact statement of how violence has affected their lives. The observance will end with a reading of names, and lighting of a candle for each of the over 100 victims killed in our City and County during this past year. Prayers will be offered by those coming together in these especially turbulent times.
On the evening of Wednesday, September 21st, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at St. Mary of the Mount Church, 403 Grandview Avenue in Mt. Washington, the Peace Day will culminate with an Interfaith Prayer Service featuring several religious traditions, a Peace Pole Blessing, a Flag ceremony and the rendering of Dona Nobis Pacem by an interfaith choir. The evening celebration will be followed by a dessert social. All are invited to attend.
Please join us as we recognize and celebrate a Day devoted to Personal, Communal and International Peace. For more information on the International Day of Peace, please call Sr. Barbara Finch at 412-716-9750 or Theresa Orlando 412-496-7461 or visit the IDP websites at http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/peaceday
George D’Angelo is a member of the Thomas Merton Center and serves on the planning committee for the International Day of Peace in Pittsburgh.