International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace falls on September 21st every year and is celebrated around the globe as a day to promote world unity. Established in 1981 by the United Nations, its goal is to promote peace and unity between nations by observing a 24-hour period of cease-fire and non-violence.

War and conflict happen all around the world, and they’re major contributors to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Soldiers returning from skirmishes and wars have long been among the most notably affected by post-traumatic stress. However, any traumatic event can cause PTSD, and as a graduate of the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program at PGI, you’ll be in a position to counsel those who struggle.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of this global remembrance. Most communities will hold events to commemorate International Day of Peace. But if yours doesn’t participate, here are some other ways you can become involved in next year’s preparation to bring peace and unity home to your neighborhood. 

Lead a Minute of Silence

All around the world, in every timezone, life pauses as people observe a full minute of silence at 12:00 noon on International Day of Peace. If your community doesn’t usually participate in this silent tribute, you can help organize your own PeaceWave event for next year by encouraging citizens to stop whatever they’re doing at noon and pause to reflect on what peace means to them. You can lead a moment of silence online or in-person, according to your city’s current laws on public gatherings. 

Organize a March, a Parade, or a Flag Ceremony

Everyone loves a parade. And if your town currently permits outdoor events for the public, consider organizing a show of community pride and spirit in celebration of International Day of Peace. A parade, a solidarity march, or even a somber flag ceremony will bring recognition to this day and give friends and neighbors a reason to gather and fellowship. 

Lead Community Youth in a Peace-Day Observation

Do you head up a boy scout troop or the local 4-H club? If so, International Day of Peace is a great opportunity to teach America’s youth about unity. Plan a Feast for Peace that encourages the whole neighborhood to attend with a potluck dish. Or help children erect and decorate a peace pole for the community. 

Join the Peace Crane Project

Looking for a way to get your classroom involved in International Day of Peace? Join the Peace Crane Project and craft origami cranes to exchange with other participants. It’s free to join in, and you can find your exchange buddy online on Facebook.

The Phillips MFT Program

As mentioned above, there’s a lot people can do to promote peace right from their own communities. At Phillips Graduate Institute, we encourage students and faculty to pause and reflect on the importance of International Day of Peace in whatever manner they choose, and make it part of our mission to equip new counselors with the education and experience they need to make an impact in the lives of soldiers and veterans who have been affected by conflict and need help the most.