Dec. 22, 1999 - Winter Solstice

It was three days before Christmas
And on valley and hill
A "Minute for Peace"
Joined hearts in good will.

We are one human family
Was the message brought
By the pictures on TV
Where before people fought.

This day then began
A Campaign for Earth
To eliminate poverty,
Pollution and dearth.

For when people and groups
Seek a goal all can share
We'll treat neighbor and nature
With heartfelt care.

Our planet is suffering
From shortsighted greed
But as Trustees of Earth
We'll meet our Earth's need.

December 22, 1999 will be the last solstice and the 37th anniversary of the first Minute for Peace, a universal radio and TV broadcast which ended the period of mourning for President John F. Kennedy.  On that occasion the recorded voice of President Kennedy speaking the year before at the United Nations implored, "Together we can save our planet."

The idea of Minute for Peace became popular and played a role in ending the war between Pakistan and India in 1966.  People from both sides came together to silently pray or meditate with thoughts of peace and goodwill - with determination to overcome hatred with love and injury with new understanding of the power and benefit of reconciliation and cooperation.

Minute for peace became the centerpiece of Earth Day, when we invite people world-wide to join in silent prayer or reflection as the Peace Bell at the United Nations is rung at the moment Spring begins.

Peace begins in the mind.  Repeated participation in Earth Day by adversaries helped end the Cold War.

Radio and TV stations are urged to observe the anniversary of this "minute" on December 22 at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT - the time of the first Minute for Peace) providing music or bells for one minute with prior announcement inviting people, each in their own way, to add the power of their love and faith by joining in silent prayer for peace and good will on our planet.

As a prelude to the year 2000 this Earth Minute can lead to a daily Minute for Peace on radio, TV and Internet - a global heartbeat of devotion to the care of nature and our world neighbors.  Here is a way to connect people of good will in a deepening commitment to think and act as Trustees of Earth and assure a better future in the new millennium.

Spread the word - and have a wonderful Christmas.

John McConnell