Dedicated to the memory of Yehudi Menuhin


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 (in 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 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 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 adversaries, in heartfelt thoughts and silent prayers for peace when the Peace Bell was rung on Earth Day, helped end the Cold War.

On Earth Day 1999 – Saturday, March 20-- radio, TV and live Web sites are urged to program this minute - and the following minute, with appropriate music.  Or they may give live coverage to the ringing of the United Nations Peace Bell (8:46 p.m. EST).  This can be preceded by announcements that will prepare people for this global opportunity to join hearts and minds in loving faith that wherever their is hate, fear or conflict, peace will prevail.  When enough people pray together, the planet will stay together.

John McConnell
Earth Day

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