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First International Day of Peace Parade
an article by Rose Lord

On a glorious sunshiny day in September hundreds of people representing 87 peace organizations, whole families and solitary citizens, sang and danced, made music and marched down Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC. Not a demonstration and definitely not a protest, this was simply a Celebration of Peace. Held on September 20th to usher in the United Nations International Day of Peace on the 21st, it was the First Annual Day of Peace Parade.

The idea of a walk for peace was inspired by the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose historical walks for peace and freedom changed the world. A colorful stream of humanity, united in their hunger for peace, carrying banners and posters, pushing baby strollers, and marching in costume of their ethnic origins invited passing motorists and pedestrians to join in this celebration of peace among all the peoples of the world. Many showed their support by waving, honking and flashing the peace sign.

While it is impossible to mention all of the people who contributed to the success of this event. we must at least thank the initiator, Victor Landa, of Global Coalition for Peace for his vision and Pamela Skarda, the Peace Parade Director for her tireless effort.

The opening ceremony in front of the Islamic Center began with the sounding of the Buddhist Gong to honor people from all directions of the universe and the beautiful song, We Rise, by Gemma. From that glorious commencement, to the inspirational speeches in front of the Gandhi Memorial, to the telecast presentation by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, to the Peace Parade Party and the rousing musical performances at Dupont Circle, the mood was one of excitement – excitement over the more peaceful, joyful and loving world to come.


Question(s) related to this article:

Could we benefit from more Celebrations of Peace?,

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This report was posted on September 27, 2004.