Opening Ceremony

Native American blessing:

        Grandmother SilverStar and Gentle Bear, Richard Dufort.
As a Guardian of Mother Earth, Grandmother SilverStar shares ancient Sacred Teachings of Truth and Knowledge with the Brothers and Sisters of the Americas and the world. Dedicated Peacekeeper and Spiritual Teacher, Cherokee-Oglala Lakota Wisdomkeeper, Grandmother SilverStar is passing forward the Peaceful Way Teachings unto Seven Generations.

Richard Dufort is a Sacred Firekeeper, Singer and Drummer of the Traditional Native American Sundance Ceremony, one of the Seven Sacred Rites of White Buffalo Calf Woman, a Teacher of Native American Ways of Peace, and organizer of World Peace Prayer Society Peace Pole Ceremonies. Both attended the Earth Day ceremony in 2013 and both participate in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Welcome and Introduction: by Kevin Sanders, Master of Ceremonies. At the moment of the equinox, spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere and fall begins in the Southern Hemisphere. At that precise moment, night and day are equal all over the world.

Remarks by Suzanne Bilello, Senior Public Information and Liaison Officer, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), New York, sponsor of today’s Peace Bell ceremony on Earth Day.

Musical performance by the young Tarumi Violinists under the direction of Yukako Tarumi, accompanied by Guillermo Vaisman on accordion. “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “It’s a Small, Small World.”

Statement by Nikhil Seth, the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Statement from Helen Garland, Chairman, Earth Society Foundation.

Musical tribute to Pete Seeger, with guitarist Frank Craven (musician, actor and playwright) along with singer Mary Carlin (Earth Society Foundation) and Louis Iacovino, attorney, singer and actor currently starring in “Rob the Mob” who will lead the audience in several of Pete Seeger’s favorite songs.

Statement – Earth Trustees in Action: Robert M. Weir, writer, speaker, editor and author of Earth Day Founder John McConnell’s biography “PEACE, JUSTICE AND CARE OF EARTH.”

Message from indigenous leaders, with focus on current issues of food, water, trees, and climate change, and the ongoing dangers from Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. 2014 is International Year of Family Farming, with emphasis on sustainable practices and change from the current energy-intensive agribusiness, which threatens our health and living ecosystems.

Musical performance from Tarumi Violinists.

Statement by Claire Bulger, the Special Assistant to Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, at Columbia University. She is the coordinator of the World Happiness Report, and works closely with Professor Sachs on Earth Institute initiatives related to the study and promotion of happiness and well-being, economics, education and new choices for the earth community.

Recognition of a group of High School students from Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering. These Green Team students were present with their teacher, Lynn Tiede; They are studying global environmental issues, as well as how to prevent war and establish world peace. They are participating in week-long Earth Week activities organized by Nicholas Pape, who has been attending the UN Earth Day events since he was a small child. They are finding more ways to make their school green and sustainable, including composting, recycling, energy conservation and school gardening. Today is also Lynn’s birthday. Happy Birthday on Earth Day.

Report on "Bell Ringing Around The World.” Bells were rung on the exact moment of the March Equinox from Austria, Lithuania, Ireland, Paris, London, Scotland, India, Haiti, Uganda, Myanmar, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and in states across America including New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. [Photos of children in Uganda were presented].

Salute to Joanne Tawfilis, Executive Director of Art Miles Mural Project, for their outstanding bell ringing efforts and the special mural presented today on children and the environment.

Participants then gathered around the UN Peace Bell for ringing of the Peace Bell.


The Bell was rung three times, followed by a Minute for Peace. This was a moment for silent prayer, meditation or reflection, for “peace, justice and the care of Earth,” as advanced by the Earth Day Founder, John McConnell.

Closing remarks: by Kevin Sanders, Master of Ceremonies.

Concluding musical performance by Native Americans Gentle Bear and Grandmother SilverStar.

On March 21, the UN celebrated the International Day of Nowruz, marking the spring equinox and the beginning of the new year. This day of renewal of nature and peace is celebrated by 300 million people around the world, including the people of Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Krygzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. March 21 is also International Day of the Forests and Trees and Saturday, March 22 is World Water Day.

Next year’s Earth Day will be on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 6:45pm in New York. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1965 - International Year of Cooperation.
For more information contact
The Earth Society Foundation