Dedicated to the memory of Yehudi Menuhin

John McConnell - Earth Day Founder

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, 1998 was the 35th 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 (December 22, 1963) 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. United Nations Delegates from both sides publicly joined in silent prayer as they were asked to meditate on peace and good will – with determination to overcome hatred and injury with 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 two minutes of silent prayer or reflection as the Peace Bell at the United Nations is rung at the moment Spring begins.

Peace begins in the mind. The repeated participation by friends and adversaries, in heartfelt thoughts and silent prayers for peace when the Peace Bell was rung each year on Earth Day, helped end the Cold War.

To friends and other interested parties. This is a pilot project with great promise. We hope you will help make it work.

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