Aug. 22, 2014 Live from the road

New York, NY

Reported by Harita Davies

The stage is set for the official Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run 2014 International Closing Ceremony. Featured is a poem by Peace Run Founder, Sri Chinmoy:
How can I have peace?
Not by talking about peace,
But by walking
Along the road of peace.

Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Executive Director, Salil Wilson, welcomed United Nations Representatives, International Runners, supporters and onlookers to the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza.

By the end of the year, the Peace Run will have taken place in more than 100 countries. Pictured are members of the 2014 North American team, as well as runners representing some 60 or more countries.

The runners head down Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza towards the stage and awaiting audience.

With Inner peace being the essence the of the Peace Run, we observed a moment of silence before the proceedings began. Pictured are Sweta Pradhan from Nepal and Kanyaka Adi Arini from Bali, Indonesia. The run will visit both of these countries as part of the Asia-Pacific Run, which begins in September. Sweta and Kanyaka also represented Nepal and Indonesia on the North American team this year.

The International Peace Run Choir performed Sri Chinmoy's World Harmony Run and Peace Run songs. These songs are sung by runners at ceremonies with children and adults all over the world.

Many old and new friends were present at the Ceremony.

A Parade of Nations followed, where runners from the many different countries intoduced their nationalities. Pictured is Kanyaka from Bali, Indonesia...

Russia...

Belarus...

Portugal...

New Zealand..

Zimbabwe...

Canada...

Japan...

Slovakia...

Serbia...

Runners from Monglia and Guatemala await their opportunity to announce their home countries.

Ranjana Ghose, curator of Sri Chinmoy's Works of Art, spoke beautifully about the cause of Peace:
"...Peace is much bigger than us and needs to be, because unless all of us everywhere in the world are involved in it, it does not happen..."
She noted that this year we are celebrating the 50th Jubilee of Sri Chinmoy's Service to Humanity in the West, and said Sri Chinmoy always taught us "if you want to offer something to someone else it should be something that you would really treasure yourself".
Ranjana also offered her gratitude to the "...many many other people around the World who also are trying to make the World better."
She said our mutual inspiration brings us together, and introduced the next speaker, Peace Run supporter, dear friend, and Co-Founder of Art of the Olympians, Cathy Oerter.

Cathy Oerter received the Oneness-Home Peace Run Torch Bearer Award two years ago for her service to humanity through the Art of the Olympians, which she co-founded with her late husband, the legendary Olympian Al Oerter. She was delighted and honored to introduce this years Torch Bearer recipient, Mr Bill McCreary.

Cathy told the audience that Bill McCreary was a dear friend of Sri Chinmoy and is a big supporter of the Peace Run. He is well known for his television show, the Bill McCreary Report. He is a two time Emmy Award winner, and former Vice President of Fox TV. He also championed the cause of Civil Rights, interviewing the likes of Martin Luther King and Colin Powell on his show. In 1968 he held a seminar on Race and Politics at Syracuse University.

Bill McCreary received the Torch Bearer award with much humility.

He inspired and moved the audience with his acceptance speech, saying "..This is for memories, for human beings, and we all are, and I am happy to be a member of that race, happy to be a person who was able to do some of the things I did. I also want to thank Sri Chinmoy for our relationship."
He said that as an Anchor Man he was at the top of his field, which can lead to the tendency to loose one's humility. He said his relationship with Sri Chinmoy made him very aware of his field and how people reacted, and reassured him by giving importance to the necessity of treating everybody the way they should be treated.
He said that seeing the Peace Runners is an assurance to him that the future is bright and that things are going to be better.

Bill ended his acceptance speech with a credo;
"If you know you should teach.
If you don't know you should learn.
Each one should reach one and teach one."

Peace Run representative, Dr Agraha Levine, offered deepest gratitude to the United Nations Ambassadors who have collectively "travelled throughout the length and bredth of the World to spread the message of the Oneness of Humanity."

The first Ambassador to bless us with his presence was H.E. Ambassador A.K. Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative for Bangladesh. As Sri Chinmoy hails from Bangladsh, this seemed especially fitting.

Ambassador Momen blessed us with a translation of a Bengali proverb saying "..although we may have cloud, there is always sunshine behind the cloud." He said for peace to happen we need a mindset of tolerence, respect and love for others.

Mr. Ricardo Ruru kindly read a message on behalf of H.E. Ambassador Yusra Khan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia.
Some excerpts from his message follow:
"It is a great pleasure for me to be here, representing Indonesia, at the Global Closing Ceremony of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run and the 50th Anniversary of Service for World Peace and Friendship.
This global event started from one man, Sri Chinmoy, a visionary of peace who founded many cultural, athletic and humanitarian activities for world peace, including the Peace Run in 1987. Through these activities, he championed the power of the heart in building peace...
...The noble peace message that this event is carrying is indeed a very timely message. I could not think a better place to start and finish this event than being in front of the United Nations Headquarter, in New York City, a city that is rich with diversity and that is symbolize by Lady Liberty carrying her own Peace Torch.
The Peace Torch is a symbol of, not only peace, but hope and celebration. Hope for those who haven't yet obtained peace, and celebration for those who have fought a long battle to obtain peace."

Congratulations! May the word of peace you carry be engraved in our hearts and to all the people who felt the warmth of the Peace Torch’s flame.

Our Indonesian representative, Kanyaka Adi Arini, was delighted to pass the torch to Mr. Ricardo Ruru.

Dr. Amina Smaila, Minister Counsellor for the Nigerian Mission at the United Nations, spoke and also read a message on behalf of H.E. Mrs. U. Joy Ogwu, Permanent Representative.
Dr. Smaila said she prays that soon she will see a runner with a torch shouting out the name of her country, Nigeria.

H.E. Mrs. U. Joy Ogwu, Permanent Representative for Nigeria was sad she could not be present, and sent a touching message saying, "Sri Chinmoy's life has been all about peace. He is an inspiration to many, from East to West, North to South. He has touched hearts, he has touched minds, and he has touched lives. We CAN create oneness and harmony. This is a message that needs to be spread to all the corners of the world."

Peace Runner, Manatit Hutchison, read a heart-felt message on behalf of H.E. Mr. Denis G. Antoine, the Permanent Representative of Grenada, who sadly could not be at the Ceremony. Some excerpts follow:
"..I applaud the continued efforts made to sustain peace and unity among the peoples and nations of the World. Every step for peace is a step towards the goal of your mission to achieve civility and oneness in this World."

Local Peace Runner, Bhashwar Hart, read a kind message on behalf of H.E. Mr. Francisco A. Cortorreal, Permanent Representative of The Dominican Republic, "...It is an honour for me to send a salute of encouragement to those like your organisation who for long years have been devoted to the noble task of promoting peace and brotherhood among all human beings."

Salwa Kader, USFME representative, offered her enthusiastic support and invited the audience to "... talk to each other with respect, remembering no one is here forever...let us be friends, let us enjoy our differences. Let us respect our differences. In the diversity that God has created, we are all equal."

United Nations Representatives and Special Guests share a moment of holding together our Peace Torches from all around the World. Thank you so much to all of you for sharing your heart felt wishes for peace from around the World.

Holding a lot of peace is San Diego Peace Runner and event organiser, Sujantra McKeever.

The programme was completed with one more round of Sri Chinmoy's Peace Run song.

A big thank you to all the members of our International Choir!

After the Ceremony was over, we all had some time to enjoy each others company.

Making new friends is always a wonderful thing!

Mr Mark Neo, Deputy Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations is joined by Harasita Sunaoshi from Japan, pictured left and Urdhacheta Yap from Singapore, who are coordinating the 2014 Asia-Pacific Peace Run, which will start in September. The run will reach Singapore on November 3.

The North American Peace Run has finished for 2014, but in many other parts of the world it has not yet begun. Please continue to follow our global peace journeys at www.peacerun.org , and deepest gratitude to everyone from around the world who has offered their hearts oneness to this Oneness-Home Peace Run in countless small and big ways.

Torch carried by
Agraha Levine (United States), Apaguha Vesely (Czech Republic), Aparanji Telles (Brazil), Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Dennis Gribok (Luxembourg), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Kanyaka Arini (Indonesia), Lunthita Duthely (United States), Mahasatya Janczak (Poland), Odgiiv Jadambaa (Mongolia), Salil Wilson (Australia), Sandro Zincarini (Italy), Sweta Pradhan (Nepal), Tavishi Matthews (Australia), Yatkara Aleksapolskyy (Canada).  
Photographers
Apaguha Vesely, Bijoy Imhoff, Prashphutita Greco

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