CHICAGO (CBS) — A roll call of nations as the city of Chicago marks the 29th annual Peace Day. Chicago pioneered the observance in 1978.
“This is all about bringing communities and cultures together for peace,” said Jennifer Kim, Committee Chair at The Peace School, a non-profit promoting world peace. “We the Chicago Consular Corps here, students from all over the city, we have people from all walks of life all here to celebrate the positive way to building peace in our city, in our country and our world.”
The celebration is in cooperation with United Nations International Day of Peace. The ceremony featured several speakers and performances by the Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago and the Tsukaso Taiko drummers.
“Let us all search for the peace that lives within each of us,” said Victoria Brady, master of ceremonies for the Peace Day ceremony at Daley Plaza.
Nearly 200 world flags crossed the stage as part of the ceremony’s finale.
“We have the flags of 192 nations, these are the countries recognized by the U.N. Every flag is presented on stage, a lot of people in beautiful, colorful clothing from their native countries, as every flag comes up, everyone joins Call to Peace as each flag is presented on stage, saying together ‘Peace in [each country, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe],’” Kim said.
Kim said now more than ever, words need to turn into actions.
“The timing of this event is crucial. We are a turning point of our planet; not just with this country, but the entire world, and not just with political things, but the environment; and you know, we’re on the edge. We’re on the edge now,” she said. “Everyone of us can do something. That something is start with ourselves. Can we communicate, listen rather than scream and start building some bridges. This is one planet. We’re stuck with it. We’re all in it.”
The ceremony was part of the 21 Days of Peace initiative, which runs until September 27.