More than 40 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared September 21 as the International Day of Peace, a day in which nations commit to non-violence and cease-fire, and people throughout the world reflect on the steps they can take to create a more peaceful society.
At IINE, we’re reminded today that in this era of political polarization, when Afghans, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, Haitians, Congolese, Rohingyas, Hondurans, El Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Syrians, and so many more people across the world are caught in brutal presentations of power, there are too few demonstrations of peace at the national and international level. And yet in our daily work, we see people reaching a hand to another in comfort, or support, or welcome, making this demonstration at the community and at the personal level over and over again.
On Martha’s Vineyard last week, Massachusetts community members embraced Venezuelan men, women, and children who suddenly appeared in their community when they could have just as easily turned these manipulated and disoriented people away, allowing their displacement and suffering to continue. Instead, they brought peace. In doing so they bring attention to the work that IINE performs every day: in welcoming and celebrating those fleeing war and displacement, and asking for nothing more than reception, we’re bringing peace.
We are grateful to those that make peacebuilding at every level a priority every day.
May we all enjoy a more peaceful future.