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Volume 72, Issue 28, Thursday, September 28, 2006

Opinion

Next year, remember the 21st of September

Pamela Palmer 
Opinion Columnist

On Sept. 21, people around the globe recognized the International Day of Peace. The day was established by the United Nations in 1981 and was first celebrated on the third Tuesday of September 1982. 

In 2002, the official day was set for Sept. 21 of every following year.

The International Day of Peace was intended to be a day of non-violence. All nations are invited to take part in peace, if only for a day. 

Observers respect a moment of silence internationally, which takes place at noon Sept. 21 in the United States. 

This day also serves as an invitation for all people to take part in promoting peaceful events around the globe.

This year, 200 countries, including all 192 countries that are part of the United Nations, took part in this day. 

Organizations and people held various events in different areas of the world, including conferences, musical tributes, radio shows, peace parades, symbolic lighting of candles and tree planting and expressed thoughts about the day and its meaning. 

All of these examples are good ways of promoting peace, publicly and personally.

The day was a huge success, at least in some aspects. The day has come a long way, and its visibility has grown, though not as much as hoped.

Many people in the UH community support peace, yet most people were not aware of this day. 

Most people who celebrated the day made their intentions public to help make the event a success and raise awareness.

On a larger scale, on the International Day of Peace, few people in the greater Houston area celebrated. 

This lack of action is more astounding than the University's lack of participation, considering the city is generally characterized as politically active. 

Yet what's more disturbing is the lack of awareness and participation in the International Day of Peace on a national level.

Imagine if nearly 300 million people in this country demonstrated their desire for peace. The thought is invigorating.

However, the number of people who knew about or took part in the day's events this year was low.

This day will be observed next year, and more participation than seen in this or previous years would be positive. 

We should mark Sept. 21 on our calendars in order to remember to join the peace promoters of the world in celebrating this important occasion.

Palmer, a political science freshman, 
can be reached at pamelappalmer@yahoo.com

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