International Day of Peace celebrated across Rockford area - – Rockford’s News Leader

International Day of Peace celebrated across Rockford area


The 11th Annual International Day of Peace brought people around the world together for yet another year.

"This year there's about 500 million people in the world that are familiar with the international day of peace," says Jim Keeling, a Representative for the Rockford Peace Month Coalition

For the last 11 years, the Rockford area has participated in the day's celebrations, with schools and local churches getting involved.

"But this year it went to a whole new level when 35 different community groups started coordinating their own events and cross marketing, helping each other out," says Keeling.  

At the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Park in downtown Rockford, peace became a permanent fixture with the dedication of two 'peace poles'

Because peace day is celebrated internationally, each peace pole has the words 'let peace prevail on earth' written on it in four different languages.

The new additions bring the number of peace poles in Winnebago County to 40.

"We're a melting pot," says Keeling. "We have many many languages spoken in out public schools and we need to keep the strength of our diversity."

Diversity was the word of the day at another peace day event,  public concert held at Davis Park.

"We felt by bringing different types of music together we'd bring different types of people together," says Tommy Meeks, community liaison for Winnebago County.

A few well known faces, like Miles Nielsen and Harlan Jefferson gave performances, along with a Latino group, and several faith based bands.

"Diversity fits in with peace because once you understand other people you might be able to understand why other people think and act the way they do," says Meeks. "And then you can learn to respect other people. And then peace comes from that mutual respect of one another."

Rockford University and Annie's Locker took part in the International Day of Peace though a display made out of athletic shoes to be given to needy children. And a community wide peace chain came together measuring a mile long.

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