WAILUA — Auntie Hana Montgomery said Sunday that we all can help heal the trouble in this world.
Her remarks were part of the blessing that opened the International Day of Peace celebration presented by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai, bearing the theme “Pathways for Peace — Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” An audience of nearly a hundred people gathered under the colorful peace flag and doves fluttering in the brisk trade winds at Lydgate Park’s main pavilion for the event.
“We all in trouble in this world,” Montgomery said. “But, as the mayor put it, together we can. We can all help to heal. We take a moment of silence for all those who are suffering from natural disasters, shootings, bombings and the pilikia in the world. Mother Earth is suffering.”
The United Nations has declared Sept. 21 as the International Day of Peace, to be “devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people,” said George Costa, representing Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. at the celebration.
“There is growing support within Hawaii for the observance of the International Day of Peace,” Costa said. “This affirms a vision of our world at peace and fosters cooperation between individuals, organizations and nations. In 2007, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to officially commemorate Peace Day in harmony with the United Nations International Day of Peace, and the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai has sponsored this annual celebration of peace every year.”
Annaleah Atkinson of the IROK said the paper crane has become a symbol of peace. She unveiled the dove named Malie, or “deep peace,” which took four years to create and was finalized when artist Nona Morgan put the 1,000 paper cranes, many with prayers inscribed on them, into the shape of a dove.
Malie was bathed in the warm afternoon sunlight on one corner of the stage, while strains of music from Cindy Combs’ kihoalu blanketed the people who flocked to the puppet stage for a lesson in conflict resolution among young people.
Three students from the Kauai High School Peer Mediation class were among the audience working with Isa Maria in a peace activity — non-violent communication — while Jim Jung toured the pavilion, freely dispensing paper cranes.
“A young person was asked what peace means to them,” Jung said. “A young man replied, ‘Fake.’ This means there is a lot of work ahead to teach people about peace. Peace is not just for Peace Day — peace is every day.”