Just as almost every nation has its war heroes, throughout history there have been people, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela, who are celebrated for their exceptional contributions to their nations, world peace and the celebration of diversity. During 1958 the "Peace Sign" was created and the Catholic Church has been celebrating a day of peace on January 1 since 1968. The International Day of Peace was first celebrated on September 21, 1981 and "Peace Day" was adopted as a holiday by United Nations resolution during 1982.
During 2005, then U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan called for a worldwide cease fire and day of non violence to commemorate this day. Each year, on September 21, the "Peace Bell," which was cast from coins donated by children from around the world and donated by Japan's Diet, is rang at U.N. Headquarters to inaugurate the day.
President Obama was elected on a platform of peace, understanding and hope for all people. Since his election, the President has won the Nobel Peace Prize. I can think of no more fitting way for the President and this nation to live up to their commitment to finding peaceful resolutions to disputes and to promote world peace, understanding and all nations helping those who are less fortunate than by adopting "Peace Day" as a national holiday starting on September 21, 2011. However, the President and the nation need to back up such a symbolic gesture by drastically cutting America's bloated military budget, getting out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and making a significant dent in its highest on the planet incarceration rate. Actions speak louder than words, and having the planet's #1 military budget and incarceration rate, being the planet's largest polluter and having a level of economic disparity that ranks with many corrupt, third world tyrannies is not something that the American leadership or people should be proud of. Perhaps celebrating Peace Day would give Americans a day to reflect on how they can make Planet Earth a better place to live?