World Peace Day takes place annually on Nov. 17. Developed by Don, “the Peaceguy,” Morris of Miami in the 1990s, the day is set aside to encourage individuals to play a role in making the world a better place. Morris follows the exhortation of the popular song, “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” He suggests that we teach our children and others, in ways to promote peace and avoid war. Throughout the day, individuals are encouraged to “pray, focus or meditate for peace.” Morris also encourages everyone to drive with their headlights turned on as a “public demonstration for peace.”
Although the organization does not sponsor a rally nor any special events, the grassroots movement highlights this special day to promote peace. World Peace Day requests that individuals take a moment to fold a couple of origami cranes and mail them to a world leader of their choice and/or hang them in a place that is visible to the public. Directions for constructing the paper birds and other initiatives surrounding World Peace Day can be found at the World Peace Day website. Morris also invites the public to write to the county’s leadership in support of peace and world harmony.
The website also features “The Peaceguy’s Prayer” that focuses on the need for change. As individuals are changed, they impact those who come in contact with them. Click here to access the prayer that ends with the statement “To make this prayer work, you have to change yourself.”
The escalating conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere remind us that peace is precious and most desirable, especially when the world is in such turmoil. The recent shelling of Jerusalem and the swift retaliation of the Israeli military remind us that when the forces of war arise, they adversely impact a geographic area, even Jerusalem, the City of Peace.
According to the Jerusalem Post, two rockets fired at Tel Aviv, landed outside of Jerusalem Friday evening, as sirens sounded, resulting in no injuries or damage. Police reported there was “no indication” that rockets landed in the city, stating that “most likely, the rockets landed in an open area outside of Jerusalem.” Hamas took credit for the assault, the first rocket attack aimed at the Holy City in a major escalation of hostilities, as Israel pressed forward with a relentless campaign of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.
ABC News reported that in retaliation for the attack on Gaza by Hamas forces that also sent mortars into Jerusalem three times in the last two days, the Israeli military said on Friday that its Air Force targeted and killed the top military commander of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in an airstrike that was part of a larger military operation in the Gaza Strip.
Ahmed Jabari, de facto leader of the military wing of Hamas, was killed in what the Israeli military called a “surgical operation.” Video from the scene showed the charred wreckage of Jabari’s vehicle, and Hamas sources later confirmed the leader’s death.
And so the conflict continues to escalate in Israel, as the recent shelling of the Holy City brought to mind the exhortation from the Psalm 122:6-7:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
This reminder is especially meaningful on Nov. 17, World Peace Day.