United Nations International Day of Peace

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EL CENTRO – The people at Bucklin Park in El Centro, September 23, enjoyed a beautiful, 85-degree afternoon.  Children were playing at the playground, adults were sitting nearby, pets were taking their owners for a walk.  At 4:30 p.m., members of the Imperial Valley Interfaith Council show up to set up a tent, wheeled in a grill for hotdogs, set up a rock painting table for the kids, and blew up about 50 balloons emblazened with a dove, the symbol of peace, the Imperial Valley Interfaith Council said in a recent release.

The Interfaith Council held a special gathering in recognition of the United Nations International Day of Peace.  Mayor Alex Cardenas and Mayor Pro-Tem Cheryl Viegas-Walker were also in attendance.  Both the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem pledged in the release the City’s support in making next year’s gathering even bigger and better.

According to the release, this day was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly.  The theme for 2017 was, “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All.”  Everyone in the park was invited for free hotdogs, kid’s crafts, singing and sharing thoughts from various faith traditions, including Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i.

Speaking to the theme for this year, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in the release, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights.  Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”

All events sponsored by the Imperial Valley Interfaith Council are free and open to the public, according to their website. The Imperial Valley Interfaith Council has been in existence for a decade and has brought together Roman Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Baha’is to share their common values.