In a world wrought with the constant turmoil throughout most of human history, the peacetime that exists in our world since the turn of the 21st Century is a relatively new phenomenon. Despite the apparent respite from violent conflict, many are still searching for peace in their daily lives in such a chaotic world. Although many still suffer the consequences of war and hostility in the present day, peace now represents an ideal that many nations and people across the world strive to maintain.
The International Day of Peace, or Peace Day, was originally passed as a declaration of the United Nations General Assembly in 1981, sponsored by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica. It came alongside a temporary ceasefire in different places across the world and continues to foster the same idea every year since. This ceasefire has been upheld by many different nations and military groups every year, allowing access to humanitarian aid in combat zones for those in need of it.
For students at Missouri S&T, it could be a different kind of peace that at times can seem unattainable. Whether it is finding a way to relieve the stress after a long week of exams, or looking for some semblance of normality with the Coronavirus affecting campus life since the last year has passed, college students are always looking for a way to keep momentary solace from the long and hard path to getting their degree. Everyone has struggles in their lives that they must endure to find success. Though the issues people have to grasp in their own lives may vary in scope, in reality, desire for an inner peace of the mind is just as valid a purpose to justify for students at S&T and anyone who might be in a difficult situation in their lives.
On Tuesday, September 21, Missouri University of Science and Technology joined in the celebration of the International Day of Peace to celebrate the ideal of peace which many across the world – as well as in communities like Rolla – are attempting to upkeep. This year, S&T students and faculty were invited to join a peace summit in Room B12A of Bertelsmeyer Hall from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. The theme of this conference was “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world,” which was discussed in detail. Before this, from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, students were encouraged to come and decorate the sidewalks outside of the Havener Center for the celebration of peace day. Additionally, the Student Diversity Initiatives and Title IX released lanterns into the lake (students came into the Havener Center from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM on the 19th and 20th to decorate ahead of time) at Ber Juan Park from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM to commemorate the holiday. During this time, they also had speakers talking on the theme of “the right to peace”.
Though something like Peace Day may not be able to help halt all the issues people find themselves facing, it is certainly a time to celebrate what peace people are able to find in their own lives. Though people may not be able to have a huge effect on the disputes which seem ever present across the world, one can find that even the most momentary peace might just make all the pain and hardship worthwhile.
Photo Caption: The common symbol of Peace Day: a dove with an olive branch which is overlaid with the UN logo.