Peace Day by Teresa

Teresa Lotz

My grandmother, Barbara Mallery, dedicated her life to peace. She always taught me that obtaining world peace is a reality. It was attainable if everyone believed in it. She taught everyone she knew that peace is a choice, a very real and wonderful choice that we can make in our lives. It ignites the world, one person at a time.

Two years ago, when my grandmother passed away, my family took it upon ourselves to carry out her peace message. My mother, who had just lost her mother, researched and learned about International Peace Day. It is an internationally recognized day of Peace that takes place September 21 every year. Film-maker Jeremy Gilley started a campaign that has been going for ten years called Peace One Day. My mom, who is a guidance counselor at a school for troubled teens in Baltimore, MD, decided to celebrate Peace Day with her students in honor of her mother.

From Bowling Green, OH, I felt like there was little I could do to help my mother with her Peace Day celebration. So I would have to hold my own celebration! I am a member of the residential living community Arts Village, which is an amazingly supportive, artistic, and fantastic community of students who are all interested in the arts: theatre, music, creative writing, fine arts, dance, et cetera. It was the perfect environment of students who think out of the box and strive for a world of peace. I spearheaded and co-organized the Bowling Green State University Peace One Day

It started with a conversation with my best friend, Jessica. I told her about what my mother was doing and how I wanted to do the same thing. We decided to do it. Our generation is where peace has to begin! We are what the future will be. So a college campus is the best place to start that for people. We first realized that we could not do this alone. To really make Peace Day happen, we would have to get as much help as we possibly could. We talked to Gordon, the director of the Arts Village and told him our ideas. He loved the thought and told us he would help us in anyway possible. We got a few more people on board, including the graduate assistant of the Arts Village, the school newspaper, and the Bowling Green marching band directors.

With the help of lots of flyers, the BG newspaper, and Facebook, we had a turn out of about 75 students. With the help of the marching band and the 75 students from the university, we made a human peace sign on the marching band field. An art major took pictures for us.

Peace Day

The Arts Village paid for pizza and let us use their social space for a Peace party. At the Peace Party, we wrote letters to my mother’s students (who were also celebrating Peace Day in Baltimore, MD) and decorated at least a hundred peace signs and hung them around campus and in the Arts Village space. It was truly an event that could not have happened without the vision of Jeremy Gilley, the memory of my grandmother, the support of my community, and the help of the whole campus.

Terease Lotz

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