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Day of Peace in Wisconsin, USA

USA-2008-09-21-Day of Peace in Wisconsin, USA

Madison, Wisconsin, USA - The warm, bright autumn day was a perfect setting for this year’s International Day of Peace Rally at the State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin. The sights and sounds of the celebration were witnessed by several thousand patrons as they shopped in the farmers’ market surrounding the capitol square.

The rally began with a beautiful native peace ceremony by Art Bohn, a member of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin, as smoke of burning sage was spread throughout the audience. Prayers for peace followed from representatives of the Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian faiths. Proclamations were read from the mayor of Madison and the governor of Wisconsin, honoring the International Day of Peace event. Rev. Collier McNair, a young Madison pastor and gospel recording artist, concluded the opening segment with a spirited musical presentation.

Leaders from non-profit service organizations then presented brief messages about their missions of service. The organizations included an educational mentoring program, a hospice program, programs centered on women, and a restorative program for delinquent youth. The conviction expressed through each presentation was inspiring. An entertaining skit was presented by a multicultural group of young women who creatively portrayed different regions of the world and the resolution of their prejudices and bias. Reconciliation seemed simple as people were shown realizing that they were all children of God. A special Declaration for the International Day of Peace was read by Rev. David Rendel representing the Universal Peace Federation.

The program closed with the dramatic release of white doves by many of the young participants. The birds’ dash for freedom as they soared above the capitol symbolized the desire of all people to freely live in a world of peace. The simple harmony exhibited by the day’s diverse gathering was proof that that peace is always within reach!

To read UPF's Peace Declaration and reports of observances in other nations, click here.

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