To commemorate the United Nations’ (UN) International Peace Day on Monday, Sept. 21, the borough of West Chester will hold a community observance of Peace Day. Peace Day was established in 1981 by the UN as an annual observance of global non-violence. In 2002, the General Assembly of the UN declared Sept. 21 as the permanent date for International Day of Peace.

West Chester University will participate in the action by distributing “Pretzels for Peace” out on the academic quad during the day.

At 7 p.m., the community candlelight celebration will be held on the steps of the Chester County Courthouse, at the corner of Market and High Streets in West Chester.

The event includes music, and various speakers with thoughts on peacemaking. Appearances include Senator Andrew Dinniman, Dolly Wideman-Scott, CEO Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Tom Buglio, the Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, and author Charlene Briggs, who wrote the book “Letters to Lida.”

“Letters to Lida” is based on the 150 letters Staff Sergeant David Lemal wrote to his mother, Lida, during the war and his reflections as he read the letters to his daughter, nearly seventy years later.

The event also includes musical performances by local musicians, Concordia Choral Arts under the direction of S. Katherine Shealy, and a group of children from West Chester Friends Meeting School will bring songs of peace. West Chester’s Mayor Carolyn Comitta will bring a proclamation from the Borough Council recognizing West Chester as a city for peace.

The Chester County Peace Movement is organizing the events.

The Chester County Peace Movement formed as a coalition of individuals in Pennsylvania in 2002, as a response to the threat of war against Iraq. Their purpose is to establish a combined voice to express support of all efforts for world peace and, more specifically, the initial opposition to a war with Iraq.

Sunny Morgan is a first-year premajor student. She can be reached at SM848270@wcupa.edu. You can follow her on Twitter @sunnymorgg.

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