NHPS Students Gather on Green for International Day of Peace

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Christopher Hoffman
About 1,200 students from every New Haven public school gathered on the New Haven Green today to celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, joining millions worldwide also marking the event.
The gathering on the Green is a joint undertaking of the New Haven Public Schools, the New Haven Peace Commission, the New Haven Peace Council, the Eli Whitney Museum and the New Haven Culture Affairs Commission.
International Day of Peace, celebrated since 1982, commemorates and seeks to strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people. New Haven students called for peace both in the community and the wider world.
New Haven students celebrated the event via live Internet hookup with students in Kragujevac, Serbia, a sister city to New Haven that suffered during the Yugoslav civil wars of the 1990s.
As part of the event, students made more than 3,000 “pinwheels for peace,” each with a peace theme. The pinwheels were displayed on the New Haven Green.
City of New Haven Peace Commission Chairman Alfred L. Marder said, “The commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Peace with the massive display of Pinwheels for Peace on the New Haven Green by students in the New Haven school system and the streaming of the activities on the Green to a similar event in Kragvujevac , Serbia, 6,000 miles away, a city victim of war,  is a dramatic and significant expression of our children for peace on the streets and between nations.
“This event can be seen globally due to the 100% efforts of the school system’s staff.. The importance of their efforts is indicated by the appearance of the highest ranking member of the United Nations to appear here, Ambassador Anwural K. Chowdhury, former President of the Security Council.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo said, “I’m honored to take part in this wonderful event. There is no nobler calling than peace. I hope that students will take away a greater appreciation for peace both within the community and in the world. Violence is a scourge that destroys lives and communities. I am pleased that the city’s students are making this powerful statement in support of peace.
“I want to pay special tribute to the district’s art teachers and students who worked so hard to make all the colorful and amazing pinwheels we see today,” Mayo added.
The featured speaker at the event was Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, retired under secretary general of the United Nations. He is also former president of the Security Council and honorary president of the United Nations NGO Committee on the International Day of Peace.
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