Peace Day: Soccer match with a goal
Special to The Union
In support of Peace One Day – a program that marks International Day of Peace – a soccer match will be held at Mautino Park in Grass Valley from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. today, Sept 21.
Imagine: A day of global ceasefire and nonviolence, a day where fighting stops and life-saving activities can be performed, a day where violence doesn’t exist in our homes, schools and communities.
The journey to create such a day started in 1999 when a filmmaker named Jeremy Gilley documented his efforts to create a global ceasefire day of non-violence. In 2001 Peace Day, an annual calendar fixed date of September 21st became a reality.
With the attacks on the twin towers September 11th 2001, and the United States launching the war on terror, Peace Day came and went with no cease fire or humanitarian action.
Gilley didn’t let that stop him. He went to Afghanistan, where there hadn’t been peace in more than 30 years. Working with humanitarian organizations, Peace Day worked. There was a weapons hand-over, immunizations, peace day activities in schools, s 60-ton food drop, insecticide mosquito nets were distributed to protect children, and family members were reunited that were split up from the war.
“My experience of conflict is that those who are involved in it long for even a day of peace. To have a day of cessation of violence, that to me is an idea whose time has come,” dsif Mary Robinson, then-United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
One Day One Goal is a campaign launched by Puma to see soccer matches played on Peace Day in every country of the world. The game brings different communities and different cultures together.
In 2009 there were more than 700 soccer matches were played in more than 200 countries.
The Lyman Gilmore after School Program will be hosting their own soccer match in honor of Peace Day and One Day One Goal for any student or staff member at the school who would like to participate. After the game they will make their own peace flags and dance for peace.
To get ready for the day, the students in the Gilmore After School Program watched videos, made posters for their school and made personal commitments.
If our children can take the initiative to get involved and commit to peace for at least one day, can’t we, as adults – parents, teachers, business owners, county officials, siblings and friends – do the same?
“Peace One Day is a powerful idea, but the idea can only work and mean anything, if individuals believe in it and make a commitment to take part in the day,” Gilley said.
For more information on Peace Day visit http://www.peaceoneday.org
Halli Ellis works in the Lyman After School Program at Lyman Gilmore Middle School, Grass Valley.
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