A Town That's All About Peace
by Erin Hicks
It is a crisp Saturday morning in March. As you walk towards the library, you see people with neon peace signs on their faces and brightly colored T-shirts. At the library, you enter a large room full of talking, laughing people. There are stands and tables everywhere, and even a rock band playing. Find this strange? Well, if you live in Maplewood, New Jersey you wouldn't.
The town named this Saturday in March "Be About Peace Day" in 2004, to show how much we care about the U.S troops and living in a peaceful country. The Maplewood Memorial Library proudly hosts this event, providing a fair amount of space for all the activities. Some of these activities have been letter writing, T-shirt decorating, button making, and face painting. Kids as well as adults can enjoy themselves during this celebration of peace.
I spoke to the chairman of South Mountain Peace Action which sponsors this special day, Paul Surovell, and he said, "The event was created to provide an opportunity for parents and kids to express their desire for peace in a creative and meaningful way." Paul also mentioned that anyone who is interested can set up a table. "There is a committee that does outreach to find people who are artistic or work well with children. So far, anyone who has asked has gotten a table."
I also spoke to Danna Hunking, who did a meditation class at this year's event. "Meditation is a tool that helps people to find their inner peace. The world cannot have outer peace until everyone learns to have peace within." Danna would love to do the class again next year, because she believes that it is important for our community and our world.
Lastly, I talked to Lily Solomon, age 12, and Sonya Cole, age 11, about what they like best about the celebration. "My favorite part about Be About Peace Day is all the activities. It is also very kid friendly," was Sonya's reply. Lily added, "I like that it's all about people working together for peace."
It is the hope of the community that we will continue to celebrate this one-of-a-kind holiday. We would like for future generations to take part in celebrating peace. If everyone works together to make the world a better place, then we could accomplish world peace someday.
Erin Hicks is a student at Seth Boyden
Elementary School in Maplewood, NJ and
a member of Yosac (Youth for Social Action).