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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"Make every day Peace Day"


A Peace Day celebration was held in New Haven and East Haven this week. See photos here. See coverage by WTNH New 8 here.
 
These are the remarks of participant Wayne Andrighetti, who spokes at the city observance at City Hall:
 
Thank you, city of New Haven for asking me to fill in today for Clifton Graves, who was called away on city business.  My name is Wayne Andrighetti, and I work with the NGO Peace Teams. On behalf of the Secretary-General and the United Nations, thanks to all of you in attendance. Each of you are here today because the concept of peace means something to you.
 
This year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is Partnerships for Peace- Dignity for All. There could not be a more important message to convey to the world, especially as we watch videos each day of conflict-fleeing refugees, being beaten, detained and dying, all for the chance to live in peace.
 
Franklin D Roosevelt summed up the concept of “Dignity for All” in his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. He stated that “we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms. They were:
 
First, Freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world
 
Second, freedom to worship God in your own way – everywhere in the world
 
Third, Freedom from want, economic opportunities for all that allows people to provide for their families - everywhere in the world
 
And fourth, freedom from fear,  and I quote, “which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world”
 
Most wars are fought because one party feels that they do not have one or more of those four freedoms.
 
While we, here today, may not be able to change the world, we do have an opportunity each day to make the changes that have a positive impact to peace in our community. Whether that be helping an unemployed person find work that pays a living wage, so they can provide for their family, or providing forums for people with disparate views to have civil discussions that lead to solutions, or stopping racism or bullying when we see it, or providing support and understanding for undocumented aliens, each and every one of us has opportunity to make our little corner of the world a better place.
 
In closing, I ask each and every one of you to take a moment and think of something that you can do to help others feel that they are being treated with dignity- and then act on it.  It has to start somewhere.
 
Make every day Peace Day. The world is counting on you.

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