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Peace One Day: TJ students and staff share the love

On Sept. 21, Thomas Jefferson High School celebrated Peace One Day. Pictured: a student signs the Pledge for Peace. - Courtesy photo
On Sept. 21, Thomas Jefferson High School celebrated Peace One Day. Pictured: a student signs the Pledge for Peace.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By CASEY YAMASAKI, Thomas Jefferson High School student

In September 1999, Jeremy Gilley founded the film project Peace One Day to document his efforts in creating an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date: Sept. 21. Through years of hard work, Gilley and ambassador Jude Law traveled to Afghanistan to lead a campaign that has resulted in 4.5 million children being vaccinated against polio in formerly inaccessible areas.

This movement inspired the International Baccalaureate students of Thomas Jefferson High School. On Sept. 21, the school celebrated with peaceful sayings chalked on the halls, “free hug” signs traveling from student to student, white ribbons rewarding those who pledged to be active on Peace One Day (and received over 1,000 signatures), and an evening potluck. Last year the event didn’t seem to extend past the IB seniors, but this year the students were adamant in involving the whole school. The main student crew included Ashley Park, Dasom Kim, Bailey Bonaci, Ryan Lee, Brendon Siow, Leslie Ojeaburu, Yunah Kang and Casey Yamasaki with guidance from the IB advisor, Carol Lee, and the Theory of Knowledge Teacher, Gretchen Mahon.

With a lot of help from other students, this team pulled of TJ’s biggest Peace One Day. Payton Dzurcanin and Morgan Folsom also designed Peace One Day shirts while most of the school wore white to symbolize peace.

The following Saturday, students also participated in One Day One Goal, a project that involved over 3,000 matches played last year in 192 UN countries.

The expectations of the crew were well exceeded and affected them positively.

“Honestly, today I’ve never felt so much love for my school and I hope each year the underclassmen make it bigger and better,” said ASB president Casey Yamasaki. And coordinator of the potluck, Ashley Park, was also very pleased: “I’m glad that my school was able to come together on peace day and have a good night celebrating. I feel it’s important for each of us to take the time to actually think about how important it is to have peace in our daily lives and the positivism that comes along with it.”

The IB seniors of 2012 hope to have set a precedent for the rest of the students and involve more schools in the future.

 

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