Text by: Lydia Ponticel, 11th grade, Cornell School District
Reading the news, people often can’t believe some of the acts of violence that happen around the world. We wish we haven’t have read that article and we wonder what it would be like to experience such an event. Why would someone feel the need to do cruel things to innocent people? Why can’t everyone live in harmony with each other? These are some of the things Jeremy Gilley may have been thinking a few years ago.
Struck by confusion and anger, the concerned Jeremy Gilley took action. It is one thing to be aware of the bad in the world, but taking action takes a lot of dedication. Jeremy took his video camera and set off to make the world a better place. The product of this was the documentary Peace One Day, released in 2004. A lot of people doubted the event’s impact on the world; consequently Gilley was even more determined to make Peace One Day an adopted holiday.
At the One Young World 2012 summit, Gilley spoke of Peace One Day. On September 21st, nations from around the world ceasefire, vaccinations are given out, and food drops take place in countries where food is scarce. In Afghanistan, millions of children are vaccinated for Polio on Peace Day. Due this, most of Afghanistan is polio free to this day. In some countries, having a day of ceasefire can mean the people don’t have to worry about the risk of their lives. Peace saves around the globe.
Through a presentation, Gilley made the vision of Peace One Day known: for the event to be self-sustaining and to have three billion people around the world aware. Through this, there are properties that all lead to global truce: art, social media, life-saving initiatives, education, annual celebrations, and film. Through these outlets, Peace One Day will reach the goal. Already, lives of millions have been altered. On Peace Day, there was a 70% decrease of violence in Afghanistan.
To close his presentation, Gilley gave us the mission to unite and inspire a new generation to create a more sustainable world. Moved by Gilley’s dedication to the well-being of others, he received a standing ovation. It starts with one brick to start a house, so why not start with just one day of peace?
What you can do to help spread awareness is to go to http://thepeacebutton.com/ and then share it with your friends.