"The Great Day of Earth"

By John McConnell
The Man Who Started Earth Day

"United we stand. Divided we fall." -- is especially pertinent at this juncture of history. How can we best achieve a global sense of community and cooperation?

Earth Day can accomplish this and provide a new beginning for civilization. While there are deep differences about politics and partisan views of religion, most everyone now agrees on the idea of Earth Day: that we should think about the future, take care of our planet and celebrate its amazing web of life.

To realize its possibilities we need to agree on a single date for the observance of Earth Day. The original date, March 21, 1970 the first day of Spring, was nature's day. Its moment of equipoise -- when night and day are equal on both hemispheres and Spring begins at the United Nations -- provides an occasion where people worldwide can simultaneously join in dedication of heart and mind to be responsible trustees and caretakers of Earth.

This yearly observance at the United Nations on the first day of Spring has played an important role in bringing together people of every creed and culture, each with their thoughts, prayers and decisions for peace, justice and the care of Earth.

The Earth Day celebration at the United Nations has fostered environmental action and helped end the Cold War. Earth Day promotes Earth Trustee attitudes as the way to peaceful progress on our planet.

We appeal to all who love the idea of Earth Day to work for a singular celebration of Earth Day on the Equinox -- March 20-21. Make every day an Earth Trustee day and each year make nature’s Earth Day a Great Day for Planet Earth!

Then "United We Stand" will take on new meaning with hew hope for our common future.

Saturday 20 March, 1999

Trustees of Earth

Earth Day Statement By John McConnell
At United Nations Peace Bell Ceremony

Earth Day provides humanity’s greatest opportunity.  But we must act quickly and firmly, for we are faced with great danger.  On this last Earth Day before the new millennium, crime and conflict - at home and abroad - threaten our future.

The old failed way of seeking "peace through strength," meaning, "Pennies for Peace and Billions for Bombs, is still with us.  However, there is a growing sentiment for peaceful rejuvenation of Earth by thinking and acting as Trustees of Earth.  This is the theme of Earth Day.

We are one human family at a crossroads of history.  We have an amazing planet now being circled by balloonists.  They, and the people in the Mir Space station, can certify Earth’s beauty and bounty.

The people below on Planet Earth, though divided by creeds and cultures, in this age of communications, are discovering a common cause all can support the stewardship of Planet Earth.  Everyone can find something to do that will help neighbor and nature.

As we approach a new millennium, we must choose whether we will live or die. Let us choose life on this momentous Earth Day.  As the Peace Bell rings here at the United Nations at the moment Spring begins, let us join in silent prayer and dedication to be responsible trustees of Earth.  Strengthened by awareness of the whole human family and of our beautiful planet, our heart will tell our feet to walk each day in the path of peaceful progress.  Then every day we will think and act as responsible Trustees of Earth.

John McConnell
Founder of Earth Day


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