'Peace Doves' by artist Peter Walker, in Liverpool Cathedral
A dramatic celebration of peace

International Day of Peace

Today we're marking the International Day of Peace, first commemorated in 1981, when the United Nations dedicated the day to 'strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of nonviolence and ceasefire.' This year's theme is 'End racism, build peace.' As the UN says, 'Achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms. It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race.'

Our photo today shows a striking symbolic artwork that seems as if it were commissioned to commemorate the International Day of Peace. Thousands of hands helped create 'Peace Doves,' an artwork installation from 2021 by sculptor Peter Walker that pulled together children and community groups in Liverpool, England. People wrote personal messages of peace on 18,000 paper doves, then those birds joined a dramatic heaven-ward flight of doves suspended on 15.5 miles of ribbon from the ceiling of Liverpool Cathedral. The lighting drew the focus to the powerful art installation, and if you stood inside the canopy of doves, you could look up and see where the strings of birds converged into starry points of light. Composer David Harper's musical soundscape added yet another layer to the artwork, which people flocked to—60,000 visitors marveled at the 'Peace Doves' in the first month. The main impressions noted? 'Beautiful' and 'moving.'