Casper’s International Day of Peace event took place under blue skies Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 on the river at the Bart Rea Learning Circle. The celebration was one of more than 700 planned events world wide during Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions Sept. 18-25.

Casper joined nearly every other state in the United States, Canada, South America, France, Spain, Russia, Africa, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zeland, and American Samoa in peaceful activities.

“Most of the events have a cause that they’re focusing on,” said Roxi Monterastelli, one of the founding members of Facebook group turned active community group, Casper Peace Collective. “We chose not to do that and wanted to do an event that was more like: ‘Yay, Peace!’.”

People of all ages participated in the activities Sunday which included a group reading of reflections on Peace, a mass Labyrinth Walk, group yoga activities, children’s story time reading by Libby Tedder Hugus of Jon J. Muth’s The Three Questions, dance and drum demonstration by the Little Sun Drum group, fail-free drumming instruction by Brett Governanti, food by Mad Flatters and more.

“We had a lot of fun!” said # year-old Sofie Cowley. As participants dispersed with hugs and smiles, that seemed to be a common sentiment.

See the reflections that were shared at the event below. Share this story with your friends in Casper to promote Peace in our community.

Reflections:

“Stop now, right now, and look around you. This is your place in the labyrinth. There is no place else you need to be. See with eyes that aren’t fixed on goals, or focused on flaws. You are part of the endless, winding beauty. And as you learn to see the dappled loveliness of your life, as your new eyes help you begin loving the labyrinth, you’ll slowly come to realize that the labyrinth was made solely for the purpose of loving you.” – Martha Beck

“One does not walk into the forest and accuse the tree of being off-center, nor do they visit the shore and call the waves imperfect. So why do we look at ourselves this way?” – Tao Te Ching

“We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” – John F. Kennedy

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 1964

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
– Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

“Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” – Hafsat Abiola

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – St. Teresa of Kolkata, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 1979

“It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stand ups for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of other, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples to build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
– Robert F. Kennedy South Africa, 1966

“Peace is not the product of a victory or command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process, the work of many decisions by many people in many countries. It is an attitude, a way of life, a way of solving problems and resolving conflicts. It cannot be forced on the smallest nation or enforced by the largest. It cannot ignore our differences or overlook our common interests. It requires us to work and live together.”
– Óscar Arias Sánchez, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 1987

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 1993

Kristin Schaeffer