| 21 Mar 2011 @ 15:08, by Heiner Benking
Today we had a Minute for Peace in Geneva at the Japanese Shinagawa Peace Bell in the Ariana Park to pay homage to the Japanese People in colaboration with the Geneva Friendship Association and the Earth Focus Foundation on the occasion of the 1st day of Spring, known as Equinox Earth Day.
It is a tradition and ceremony with the first Peace Bell ringing at the UN in New York in 1978.
But the tradition dates back much earlier. Equinox Earth Day is celebrated exactly the same minute around the globe. We unfortunately had to add 12 hours to the bell ringing ceremony, even when we observed the midnight time individually, as such a gesture to be observed well, subsuming and resonating in the present moment can not be done with the media and dignities in the middle of the night in a park.
Exactly 40 years ago the UN Secretary General U-Thant, with his Under-Secretary General Robert Muller, and World renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, International Chairman of Earth Day were celebrating the 2nd Equinox Earth Day, which was started in September 1969, when the City of San Francisco endorsed the proposal a first mentioning of a Day of People of the Earth was proclaimed by "WE". Who is "WE" ? the Earth trustees starting with TrusteeOne, John McConnell who with Margarte Mead and many others from these days were looking early in resuming and resonating in Harmony with Nature.
Minutes of Peace are celebrated since 1963 and even earlier the "Star of Hope" was "launched" in 1957.
Not only in New York, but also in Geneva key mile-stones took place. For example in 1958 when in the peace-movement events called ATOMS FOR PEACE were taking place, or later in 1973, when a year after Rio the UN Conference on the Environment took place, the idea for an Earth Society Foundation was born on the lawns before the UN - exactly where we were commemorating the suffering of the Japanese People today.
The original Earth Day is celebrated all over the world, as all cultures celebrate Spring and all the other Seasons. I had the honour to celebrate Peace Bell ringing the last 15 years on some occasions in Vienna, Berlin, New York, ... and saw John McConnell occasionally as he also invited me to his home in New York. He had sent me a large dossier about Earth Day in 1996 as we wanted to invite him to Vienna and Budapest. Being at the State of the World Forum occasionally and seeing where it all began, where the original idea was planted, but also where it "bifurcated" into another Earth Day in April. goto: (more) below... or see more pictures from Anna, EARTHFOCUS (here).
Long stories, maybe more later, a book was written about this by a friend Robert Weir, and last not least we should do an eulogy for Robert Muller who died last week, and celebrate that John McConnell - now age 95 -born March 22, 1915 - and thank his wife Anna for her livelong service for the family and Planet Earth.
We continue tomorrow with the UN Day for Water, after focussing on Forests, Youth, Health, Climate, Environment, Peace and the rest .... last week.
Please see the programme of the Earth Focus Foundation and please come back, as this entry is rushed and I need to add some details and contexts.... - about the Earth Charter etc.... which goes back to 1987.
I recommend this PRESS RELEASE:
were you also find these links:
The Shinagawa Bell – Switzerland / Japan, « Earth Day » & 1st Day of Spring
earthfocusfoundation - geneve-shinagawa -earthsocietyfoundation -
John McConnell - EARTH SITE - EQUINOC EARTH DAY
EARTH DAY in APRIL