5TH GRADE STUDENT
Photography by: Kim Held
"Peace means the world lives as Mother Nature does - Calmly." -Reginald Toomer
If peace is the artful creation of the continuation of mankind, then it will be our youth that will choose to lead the way to a more sustainable and caring world.
Many children from the Sanders-Clyde Elementary School in downtown Charleston contributed art work for the peace festival. Their ideas of peace were simple, yet deep; naive yet so real. This artwork was highlighted at the festival as well as in the Walk Gallary art exposition on King Street highlighting artists' reflections of peace. Reggie is a young man gifted in art and willing to share his art with his community.
HANNAH MARIE GARCIA
14 YEAR OLD ACTIVIST
Photography by: Christina Bailey
"It only takes one voice to change tomorrow into a better today." -Hannah Marie Garcia
Hannah Marie's Speech from the 2009 Peace One Day Festival captures why it is important for young adults to act in creating a culture of peace:
Speech for Charleston Peace One Day
My speech is not just about what peace means to me as a young adult but on what everyone can do to make a difference. So when you hear the word peace, what do you think of? The end of war, the end of fear, or maybe just a day of relaxation. But to me its much more then that because it evolves everyone. The choices we make now effect the road we lay down for our future. Our lives carry so many emotions that it is so easy to forget what we do to our environment and how much we take for granite. When we search for peace we need to realize that we already have it. We just need to take a moment and stop. Stop and change the future by changing the choices we make now. I am the youngest speaker here at Charleston Peace One Day, and I am here to make a difference.
One thing I often think of when asked about peace, is the absence of war. War destroys so many things, such as innocent lives. In this country people as young as myself have a say in the future. We have the freedom to express opinions that are not allowed in other countries. So war should always be a last resort. But if chosen for the right reasons it can have many benefits. War may also just be a personal war with yourself and what your struggling with. And after over coming it you may find peace within yourself.
To have peace you have to have education. It all starts with the younger generations because if they don’t understand how important their freedom and history is, then we just keep repeating our mistakes. It only takes one voice to change tomorrow into a better today.
Peace may come in many forms. Whether it’s a person you greet on the street or in a friend. The start to peace throughout the world has to begin within yourself. If you have hatred toward yourself, then how do you expect to give anything but that to others. If you have sadness and doubt that fills you then that’s what you offer to the people around you. But if you reach a point in life where your at peace with yourself and are in a state of happiness, then that’s when you can truly offer peace to others and throughout the world.
And that’s what peace means to me. So now I want to ask you, to ask yourself what peace means to you and apply it to you life to make Charleston Peace One Day, everyday.
-Hannah Marie Garcia