UN International Day of Families 2009

Day of Families Celebrated in Buenos Aires


Buenos Aires, Argentina - The International Day of Families was celebrated on May 15 with a variety of educational, cultural, social, and athletic activities took place under the motto “Creating a World of Peace: One Family at a Time.” Couples married more than 25 years were recognized with a cake and a toast to eternal love. On the following day, the Huracán football club won the International Day of the Family Peace Cup in a championship game certified by First Division of Argentine football.

The heart of the gathering was the recognition of eight couples who had been married more than 25 years. They received a diploma honoring them: “For promoting through their living testimony the institution of the family as the school of values, the primary social institution, and a microcosm of the global community.”

There were romantic moments, such as when Luis D'Angelo presented a ring to his wife of 32 years, Liliana Marseille. Donato Perrone, who on May 29 will celebrate the 55th anniversary of his marriage Beatriz Race, read for her a romantic poem as if they were at the dawn of love. They have two children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Also there were humorous scenes, such as when Ernesto Zallio publicly asked his wife of 47 years, Alicia, if she would marry him again, and her answer was a heartfelt kiss.

The awards were given by Roswitha de Giuliano, wife of the President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Argentina, the host organization of the evening. It was a doubly joyous occasion for Juan Domingo Sosa and Alicia Amanda Herrera, who celebrated their 33rd anniversary on that day. Juan mentioned their six-year engagement, attributing their enduring relationship to their root in God.

In addition, two international couples were recognized: Sergio Castellón (Argentine) and Rosetta Conti (Italian), and Jose Gomez (Argentine) and Shee Kim Lim (Malaysian). Both couples have been married for 26 years and have two and four children, respectively. The list of the honored couples also included Esteban Héctor Portu and Olga Zulema Barragán (who celebrated 46 years of marriage on May 5) and Rubén Horacio Payero and Norma Fabiana Mora (who have been married for 30 years and have two children and two grandchildren).

An artistic touch marked the program, starting with an invocation by Monseñor Jorge Rivas Ottone from the Apostolic Orthodox Church of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. Singer Margarita Aybar transmitted joy through her interpretations of a zamba entitled "The Garden of the Republic" and a Peruvian waltz, "The Cinnamon Flower." Poems were recited by Adriana Rodriguez, coordinator of the Argentine Athenian Poets, and two special themes, "Hymn of Love" and "The One Seated on the Throne," interpreted by the saxophonist Elías Bajer, Director of the Business and Swing Workshops. The event ended with beautiful interpretations by the Family Federation Youth Choir of "Determination," "Dreams," and "One Home for All."

Col. José Bilbao Richter, a member of the UPF Global Peace Council, read the Message for the International Day of Families by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN; and Carlos Varga, Vice-President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in Argentina, read the Declaration of UPF on the Family. Additional greetings were read by Alexander D'Alessandro, President of the Center of Strategic Planning for Social Security. For example, the Director of the UN Information Center for Argentina and Uruguay, Mrs. Pinto Maria Coast, praised the UPF “for having taken the initiative to celebrate the International Family Day ... since it is through the well-being of the family that we will be able to make this a better world.” She also sent her congratulations to the couples recognized in the event, saying that “through their commitment and responsibility” they are “an example for all.”

In addition, there was a video presentation about the Universal Peace Federation, a cake, a toast to the honored couples, followed by refreshments.

This significant date was established by the UN (Resolution 47/237, of September 20, 1993) as a way to raise awareness of issues related to the family and encourage nations to develop policies that promote the family. Lasting peace cannot be guaranteed with the establishment of laws alone but by building the consciousness of universal human solidarity as one family, brothers and sisters who share a common moral and spiritual patrimony. Really, we are "one family under God,” as is stated in the UPF Declaration on the Family.

A Peace Cup competition on the theme of “Solidarity and Coexistence through Sports" was held on May 16, with the Huracán team winning over River Plate 4-0 as part of the 14th round of the Argentine Closing Tournament of the First Division. It was held in the spectacular environment of the Tomás Adolph Ducó Stadium.

Representing the sponsors of the competition, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Patricios Park, and UPF, Horacio Daboul awarded the trophy to the captain of the Huracán team, Carlos Arano. This victory moved Huracán to third place in the championship.

To read UPF's Declaration on Families, click here.


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