Monday, September 25, 2017

Celebration of Int’l Day of Peace held in Des Moines Sept. 21

By Christine Sheller

On the International Day of Peace, Thursday, September 21st, as begun by the United Nations, the city of Des Moines and surrounding communities came together to celebrate peace.  It was planned by the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace and held at Cowles Commons, the peace garden adjoining Capital Square in downtown Des Moines.  There were many cosponsors, including Iowa Peace Network.

Starting at 6:30 pm, celebrants shared together in song, litany, and presentation by Tiffany Johnson of a speech given by Mrs. Coretta Scott King 3 weeks after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.  Tiffany Johnson, a reknown actress in Des Moines did that presentation, a speech named “Until the Last Gun is Silent” which was very poignant and moving.  Her speech brought a standing ovation.  It was originally a part of the Poor People’s movement, started by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

(Picture thanks to Jon Krieg of AFSC)

Another special part of the program included Judy Olson, on Native American flute, as interlude and gathering music.  Songs sung were, Dona Nobis Pacem, A Hymn of Peace, World Peace Prayer, & Down by the Riverside.  A litany was read that incorporated quotes by 10 well-known individuals for their work for peace.    

Christine Sheller is media editor and coordinator for Iowa Peace Network.  She is a graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary.