A Peace Day in Chicago Celebration was held Friday from Noon to 1 pm in Daley Plaza. It was the 35th Anniversary of the event sponsored by Chicago Build The Peace Committee a non-profit organization.
Quoting the origination's mission statement, "to promote the values, attitudes, behaviors and institutions that build the peace in individuals, families, schools, neighborhoods and the city as a whole". That mission is failing daily in the city of Chicago.
A better setting for this event could have been the Back o the Yards neighborhood, where at around 10:15 p.m. on Thursday in Cornell Square Park another 13 people were shot including a 3 year old child. Shooting's are not isolated incidents, a dozen more people were shot through out Chicago that day of peace.
Chicago has been talking a good talk about world peace in Chicago for 35 years now. Downtown rallies have no effect in Englewood, or other neighborhoods in the city that have consistently been ranked as some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the nation.
A list of the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods was complied from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies by the FBI. It ranked the worst and Chicago Southside has four neighborhoods on the list, tied with Detroit for the city with the most neighborhoods. Chicago's 4 are listed below. Auburn Gresham is on the list twice.Auburn Gresham - South Halsted Street & West 77th Street - #4 North Lawndale - South Homan Avenue & West Roosevelt Road - #13 Auburn Gresham - South Ashland Avenue & West 76th Street - #16 Washington Park - South Indiana Avenue & East 60th Street - #25
Anyone of those neighborhood would be a better place to get the message out for World Peace.
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
- Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher
The event started with a Welcoming Lion Dance by Chicago Shaolin Temple, followed by remarks from the Master of Ceremonies, then a list of political and activists speakers including: Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President, Rocco Claps, Illinois Director of Human Rights.
The highlight of the of the Peace Day in Chicago Program was the Interactive Call to Peace and World Peace Flag Ceremony. It consisted of a parade of flags, one for every nation represented by the United Nations. During the display the audience would say "Peace to" what ever county's flag was currently on display. A nice display but again no effect on the violence in Chicago.
A few years after Chicago started the Peace Day movement, the United Nations created the International Day of Peace:
The International Day of Peace, observed each year on September 21, is a global call for a ceasefire and non-violence. 2013 marks the 32nd anniversary of the United Nations resolution to establish the International Day of Peace. The United Nations invites all nations to commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.
Since the inception of the International Day of Peace, numerous commemorative events, activities and observances have been held around the world by UN offices, none of which seems to be helping the South Side of Chicago.
Over night on Peace Day in Chicago at least four more were killed by violence and three others wounded. The latest violence came a day after 13 people were shot in the South Side park and just hours after a 14-year-old boy was killed Friday afternoon.
Now many in Chicago are asking if we need to call out the National Guard.
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Here are photos of the many faces attending the Peace Day in Chicago Celebration at Daley Plaza.