The Japanese Peace Bell at United Nations headquarters in New York, donated by the Japanese United Nations Association in 1954, was rung by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on September 21—the International Day of Peace—as a call for peace around the world. Its vibrations were felt in Lincoln, Nebraska, on September 22, at Rabbi Michael Weisser’s home, where 10 participants gathered for a commemoration of International Day of Peace 2018 that was organized by Universal Peace Federation (UPF).
Following the theme of the 2018 Peace Day— “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”—the Nebraska gathering focused on the idea that everyone has a right to peace. The participants prayed about, heard and discussed thoughts on how to build a world of true peace.
After interfaith prayers, Rabbi Weisser taught the group a Hebrew song of peace. He then related an experience he had during a visit to the West Bank with the UPF-sponsored Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI). He recalled how, by meeting and talking with Palestinian people and breaking bread together, he overcame personal struggles.
Participants had the chance to share ideas and strategies for creating a world of peace, including the idea that “Peace Starts with Me.” Mrs. Theresa Tsubaki, the executive director of UPF-Nebraska, explained that UPF appoints Ambassadors for Peace as a way to recognize individuals for their accomplishments in building a world of peace on the local level.