La Mesa celebrates International Day of Peace

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Reverend Kenji Akahoshi, minister of the Buddhist Temple of San Diego, said in part, “May all beings be happy and well. May my enemies be happy and well.” Different philosophies were introduced at the 3rd Annual International Day of Peace held at La Mesa’s Aztec Park on Sept. 25.

Reverend Kenji Akahoshi, minister of the Buddhist Temple of San Diego, said in part, “May all beings be happy and well. May my enemies be happy and well.” Different philosophies were introduced at the 3rd Annual International Day of Peace held at La Mesa’s Aztec Park on Sept. 25.

LaVern Olberding, OSF, with the Franciscan Peace Connection, is part of the force that pulled together this event that hosted 15 groups and put together a service that had different speakers from a variety of churches and philosophies and included music as well. Anne Pacheco with the Interfaith Council of La Mesa was also part of that force.

The International Day of Peace, also unofficially known as World Peace Day, was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education in 2013. It has been around since 1982. Via social media it has become more visible so much so that Facebook reminded its account holders with newsfeed tags on Sept. 21 (the official day) that it existed and had increased its visibility. 

Helen Hillix, Director of outreach for The InnerRevolution.Org, voiced her opinion with, “If we want world peace we have to change our whole culture” and suggested using “non-violent communication.” Part of that communication they use is voiced on internet radio.

The sponsor of the event, the Interfaith Council of La Mesa, chose the Aztec Park on Morocco Drive said Pacheco. The speakers lined up in semi-circle to each take their turn at introducing their perspective on peace to the estimated 75-100 attendees. The theme was “Building Blocks of Peace.”

A speaker during the service Saleem Malik, a member of the Ahmadi Muslim Community, said, “All religions are seeking the same thing – peace. Hurt no one, so no one will hurt you.”

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad delivered Hindu words of peace with the sentiment of needing “sensitivity to life.”

Other participants included Vista La Mesa Church, First Church of the Brethren, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, La Mesa First United Methodist Church, and Help Kids Around the World.

Members of the Jewish Words of Peace introduced two shofars. A shofar is an instrument made from the horn of a ram or other kosher animal. Usage included announcing the new moon and to call people together. The shofars were blown after the service.

San Diego Veterans for Peace member Anne Barron, who manned a table for the group as their representative, introduced the idea of protests to keep peace.  Barron noted that their group held banners over the I-15 freeway during the Miramar Air Show with the message of “Air shows $ell War”

The event ended with all attendees forming a circle and singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” followed by a closing prayer from the Very Reverend James Poulsen with St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

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