Should you ever have been searching for a peaceful place last Friday, then Thornton-Donovan’s tennis court and White House would have been your tranquility base as the little red school house became a peace citadel with a straight path to all things spiritual and all things good. With all the solemn words said on campus invoking peace and all the sacred songs sung piping words to places far above, the spirit of friendship and good will descended here like a dove looking for a nest egg. With voices all sung in one accord roaring for peace and harmony, the T-D family, its student body and faculty, listened attentively and respectfully as Harlem’s gospel singers, Mongolian music men, T-D’s little folks and a single T-D alumna, cheered for peace and turned the campus into a sacred ground site. All of the T-D voices heard this past Friday were said in one accord, with harmony in song and serenity in sight; all uniting; cementing; blending and bonding together in friendship. Peace diplomats from as far away as Mongolia, Japan, China and Italy were all joined by the Americans as one and all galloped for peace. Not one person wanted to hold his or her horse back.
Today, September 21, is Peace Day. Jeremy Gilley and his allies have been trying for 18 years to make this one day of complete peace. That is, they are trying to persuade us humans to take a break from killing each other for just one day. To find out more about Peace Day, go to:
PEAC Institute and Peace Culture Village gladly support this Peace Day effort, so we are honoring this day by holding a workshop, launching our new PCV program, and kicking off a major international campaign.
The workshop is at Thornton Donovan School in New Rochelle, New York. PEAC staff and interns will spend today at this innovative kindergarten-through-high school talking to students about Peace Day and how people of any age can work for peace. To learn more about the school, go to: http://td.edu It’s a cool place. And tomorrow you’ll learn what PEAC did there.
Also on Peace Day (today), Peace Culture Village is launching its new, reborn self. We have six new staff and a significantly different approach to exploring, learning and teaching peace culture. From PCV Hangouts to Hiroshima Adventures to Peace Camps, the emphasis is on global networking and communication. We want the thousands of non-Japanese who visit the A-bomb museum each year to dive deeper into peace by meeting the thousands of Japanese who are working sincerely, creatively and effectively to develop and manifest some aspect of peace culture – that is, a society that works for all of us. To find out more about what’s happening in the Village, go to:
And now the big news!! PEAC and Peace Culture Village have accepted the tremendous responsibility of coordinating the international campaign to support the Hibakusha Appeal. The Hibakusha Appeal is a petition drive, that is, an effort to gather signatures. Sounds boring? Been there done that? Yeah, me too, but this is different. Let me tell you why we’re getting involved.
First, nuclear weapons remain an a-bombination, and we have never had and probably never will have a better chance to get rid of this obscene obstacle to decent human evolution. After all, we have a brand new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW, set forth on July 7, 2017 by the UN). This treaty is supported by the majority of UN member nations. It is also supported by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, who gave the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons). So we have a treaty and a Nobel Prize. This doesn’t happen every year. We have to make the most of it right now or the nuclear issue will slowly vanish, along with our collective chance of surviving this century.
Second, the key to eliminating nuclear weapons is Japan. Yes, I know, Japan doesn’t even have nuclear weapons, but Japan is the most powerful nuclear victim. Japan is the nation of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Lucky Dragon Number 5, and Fukushima. Beer companies and drunk drivers are not the ones who push for laws against drunk driving. The nuclear-weapon states will not lead us to a nuclear-weapon-free world. That is Japan’s mission, and we all have to help Japan get back on track.
Third, most anti-nuclear petitions have been one of several similar statements issued at the same time by competing organizations. Even the hibakushahave been divided. Now, they have all come together to issue a single Hibakusha Appeal. This appeal is being supported by all of Japan’s peace groups and, to my knowledge, all the international peace NGOs that know about it. Now, we need to get all the peace groups around the world gathering signatures on this one petition. This is not the time to let a hundred flowers bloom. It is a time when a hundred flowers need to work together to actually influence the outcome.
Last but definitely not least, we all need to say thank you to the hibakushafor their 74 years of devotion to preventing World War III and the end of human life on this planet. The hibakushahave been selflessly serving humanity for decades. Now it’s time for humanity to express some gratitude.
he hibakushadeserve a billion signatures on this petition. If we set a new world record for signatures on a petition, the hibakushawill feel heard, loved and thanked. We will have united vast numbers of peace groups in the process, thereby opening the door to other forms of cooperation. We will have sent a powerful message the Japanese people can use to force their government to take up the cause. And, we’ll have inserted the problem of nuclear weapons into human consciousness. When people think for a while about nuclear weapons, they tend to think what might happen if those weapons are actually used. Once the majority starts thinking like that, finis nukes.
Nuclear weapons are the easiest global problem we face. Nine countries could solve this problem in two weeks if they wanted to. If the human family can’t cooperate enough to solve this simple little existential threat, how can we possibly control our CO2 emissions or graduate to a post-petroleum paradise? So let’s get rid of the warlords threatening to blow us away and follow only leaders who will return us to a nuclear-weapon-free-world. To sign the petition and send it to everyone you know, go to: https://www.peacinstitute.org
Thank you very much, and happy Peace Day.
Hi (Mr. Fleming),
Just wanted to say, how amazing today is, as a concept within itself, as well as the actual school environment and the culture on campus.
I came by for a brief time during the afternoon, just to see the activities, check out music etc. What I saw was blew me away, as always, it happens when i visit on days/events held at TD.
Kids, roaming about, running/playing/reading/eating/chilling/talking, on the grass, on the benches/by the trees, free to be and do…Happy kids, everywhere, being kids, but responsibly, cohesively, respectfully —all grades Interacting with each other, enjoying life – no barriers, no locked doors – i saw ALL colors, nationalities, cultures – together – HAPPY. I love it, i love this school and the idea it represents.
I love that Remi goes here, and enjoys all the benefits of what this school represents and teaches. Academics are important of course, but BIGGER picture is at most importance. Learning and enjoying other people and cultures and ways — is at most importance. It helps our kids to grow in to descent adults. I’m glad we picked this school and I’m glad to see in practice what this school preaches, not just rhetoric or popular idea of the moment, but a way of life. That comes from the heart.
Remi Litrov-Santos mom.