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International Day of Peace Observed in Vladivostok, Russia

Russia-2017-09-21-International Day of Peace Observed in Vladivostok, Russia

Vladivostok, Russia—The 2017 International Day of Peace was celebrated with a "Let There Be Peace!" festival featuring hundreds of hand-made “peace flowers.”

The festive event was held on September 21 on Vladivostok’s Sports Embankment overlooking Amur Bay.

In 2015, when Marina I. Lapteva, head of Wellness Club BoraKami, conceived of holding a rally to remember those who have given their lives for peace, the first Peace Road peacemaking road trip was launched in St. Petersburg under the motto "Unite the planet, creating peace!"

The Peace Road initiative, which has been held by UPF chapters all over the world, is tied to the International Highway that was first proposed by UPF founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon in 1981 at the 10th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences in Korea. In 2005, Rev. Dr. Moon toured 100 countries of the world within 100 days with a more detailed proposal for the International Highway, which would include a bridge or tunnel between Russia and the United States.

The Peace Road has been held in Russia since 2015, when Dmitry Oficerov, Pavel Petelin and Yuri Gavrilin of UPF drove across the country, from Moscow to Vladivostok, collecting “peace flowers” in the cities where they stayed.

In 21 days the three visited Moscow, Ryazan, and Nizhny Novgorod, Republic of Mari El, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Ufa, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and, finally, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.

This year, the “peace flowers” that they collected were exhibited together with flowers made by children and adults in Vladivostok (and sent by mail from the cities of Moscow, Slobodskaya, Zhukovsky, Novosibirsk, and Khabarovsk) on a beautiful "peace flowerbed."

One could make one’s own “peace flower” during the festival at tables prepared near the performance area. Elena Demidenko, Zhanna Salkova, Lyubov Akatova and Yevgenia Maminova were on hand all day to show how to make flowers from tissue. “Peace flowers” are a tribute to all those who gave their lives for peace. Flowers made by our own hands symbolize that we keep their memory and will do everything for the sake of peace on earth.

Thus, Olga Chirkina, organizer of "Let There Be Peace!" in 2016, made great efforts to connect this year’s event to the International Day of Peace, involving all citizens. Within the past year, she instigated many workshops for making “peace flowers” at city libraries as well as at secondary schools No. 74 and No. 28. Students of those two schools made over 135 flowers with their own hands and brought them to the festival to offer to their relatives. Some children were participating in the event for the second time. This year’s most ardent participants were students of the special (correctional) general boarding school. For them, the song My Angel, Be with Me was performed with sign language. One cannot imagine a festive event without the participation of children!

This year’s festival featured the reading of poems by local authors about peace in the soul and throughout the earth. The poetry was collected by festival initiator Marina Lapteva and recited by poets Natalia Forikova and Galina Alpeeva.

Joyous and thoughtful solo songs were performed by Anna Krosheninnikova, Yuliya Skvortsova and other vocalists. Soloists of the children's vocal studio Avanscena also sang songs. Victor Leontyev, director of the Vinyl studio, performed beautiful music on the accordion and guitar.

Representatives of the Siberian Health corporation gave small gifts to the youngest participants, the Avanscena soloists, and the winners of a lottery that the corporation had organized. The hosts of the holiday were professionals: charming Marina Dorozhkina, director of the Happy Day holiday agency, and Andrey Yakin, professional festival leader, director of the Joy Studio, and a wonderful singer!

Last year, the "Let There Be Peace!" festival collected more than 950 flowers. This year their number increased to more than 1,400!

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