Statement January 14, 1999, by John McConnell, The founder of Earth Day.
At this moment truth is on trial in the US Senate. The most damaging lie by the President was not obstruction of justice in the Lewinsky matter. This is but the tip of the iceberg. For example, look at his repeated statements that April 22 is Earth Day. Why is that so important?
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DATE OF EARTH DAY: How Important Is It?
An Email from "Daniel" on 99-01-13 stated the following:
"Visiting your web site [www.earthsite.org], I was disturbed by the extremely negative comments regarding the "other" Earth day. Why not save your contempt for individuals and organizations that really deserve them. I believe your
impact of your site is lessened by this pointless feud that seems to stem more from ego than true concern for the environment."
There is certainly no "contempt" for people promoting the "other" Earth Day. While most Email we receive about the date does not view our comments as negative, the above note raises the issue of how important is the date. This comes at a time when the issue of truth, integrity, honor, and accord in our society is being debated in the Senate.
In recent times the idea has been circulated in various ways that there is no absolute truth, so we should recognize that everything is relative. Differences are just a matter of seeing the truth in different ways. If this is the case, Hitler and Mother Teresa were just advocating truth in different ways. Saying truth is only relative leads down a dangerous road.
On closer examination of the Earth Day date question, there is evidence that the whole world would be better off were it not for the delay in Earth's rejuvenation caused by the April 22 Earth Day organizer's usurping the name "Earth Day", causing confusion and ignoring the importance of the March 20-21 date.
The name "Earth Day" was originally proposed and used for the March Equinox, Nature's icon of renewal and equilibrium. It was intended as the first global holiday, and was dedicated to "peace, justice and the care of Earth."
The April 22 organizers tried to replace the March Earth Day Ceremony at the United Nations in 1971 and had their representative meet with UN Sec. Gen. U Thant, who told him, "John McConnell (Earth Day Founder) came to me first, and he has a much better idea." U Thant followed this by adding his signature to the International Earth Day Proclamation John McConnell had written. This was then part of a UN Press Release announcing Sec. Gen. U Thant would ring the United Nations Peace Bell at the 1971 Earth Day Ceremony.
In 1975 John McConnell obtained an Earth Day Proclamation from President Ford and a resolution from Congress. In 1980 the April 22 organizers obtained an Earth Day Proclamation from President Carter.
Efforts with UN Delegates to obtain more participation around the world in Earth Day has been repeatedly undermined by the April 22 date. People supporting the real Earth Day agenda in India, Japan and other countries have repeatedly been asked, "Isn't April 22 Earth Day? In spite of this, the Earth Day Peace Bell Ceremony March 20-21 at the United Nations, has brought together key world leaders from countries at war with one another. It has fostered peace, environmental action, and helped end the "Cold War."
EARTH DAY -- History
The first observance of Earth Day was in San Francisco on March 21, 1970 - the first day of Spring. This is the date observed every year after that at the United Nations and by some groups around the world. In 1987 the observance at the United Nations in New York was joined by ceremonies in Austria, Argentina, Costa Rica.
In 1998 we had reports that observance also occurred in Russia and the Mir Space Station.
In 1970 the name of the March 21 Earth Day -- which had been announced in November 1969, was "borrowed" by organizers of a nationwide campus "Environmental Teach-In." They heard the announcement at the San Francisco UNESCO Conference on the Environment, where they suggested to John McConnell the date be changed to April 22, the date already announced as "Environmental Teach-In." John McConnell rejected the suggestion and said, "The March Equinox has the essential history and symbolism that will achieve the best global holiday for Planet Earth."
The "Teach-In" organizers then changed their name to "Earth Day." Their event occurred on April 22, 1970. The massive publicity they obtained -undoubtedly because of their violent "protests against pollution" -- resulted in repetition in succeeding years of events called "Earth Day" on April 22. These events encouraged and aided environment efforts. The April 22 environmental actions are to be commended. But the name they used diminished the benefit.
It is tragic when people do good things, but in a way that prevents a far greater good.
Now some have realized the harm caused by calling April 22 "Earth Day" and designate their event as "Eco Day" and "Nature Celebration Day." It might be added that most people have a singular date and meaning for Christmas. We need that for Earth Day.
A real understanding of the history and meaning of the equinox Earth Day is needed by all the people on our planet. Then young and old of every creed and culture will strengthen their common identity by coming together in celebration of the amazing skin of life that covers our globe. Nature's event, the March Equinox, provides a reason and opportunity for the whole human family to come together in celebration of life and commitment to responsible stewardship of Planet Earth. It taps the best in every creed and culture.
Earth Day and its Earth Trustee agenda offers hope for the rejuvenation and future prosperity of our planet. Whether you celebrate Earth Day at home, at school or church -- or in a public event, celebrate it on Nature's Day and help make Earth Day a great day for planet Earth. Then, more and more, every day will be "Earth Trustee Day."
Final Note: Let's cling to the faith that everyone is redeemable. Were President Clinton's repentance demonstrated by resigning, his new identity and integrity would provide even more attention and support. He could then be a champion of the truth!
Mr. President, I see your bible under your arm when you come out of church. Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." Saul saw the truth and became Paul. The truth can give you a new and better identity.
More on the history of the Equinox (The original) Earth Day is available at: www.earthsite.org - and www.themesh.com/eday.html.
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