Forty members of three churches commemorated the International Day of Peace on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, by marching through Morristown carrying a five-car plywood “Peace Train,” stopping for prayers at several spots along the route.
Members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Principe de Paz and Assumption Parish, including Assumption parishioner and Morristown First Lady Mary Dougherty, joined in the activity to demonstrate their commitment to being peacemakers in the world.
Children and youth members of the three congregations had painted the colorful train cars to convey the theme of peace. St. Peter’s church school members painted the engine and caboose in May in preparation for their annual Youth Sunday service, then displayed the cars outside on Memorial Day to allow members of the public to pen messages of peace.
Principe De Paz’s young people painted their cars during the bilingual vacation Bible camp held at St. Peter’s in July.
Most recently, the youth at Assumption Parish painted a car featuring Mother Teresa’s statement: “Peace begins with a smile.” They arrived for the event carrying smiley-faced yellow balloons.
On Saturday, the group gathered at St. Peter’s for an opening prayer, then carried the train cars down South Street, along the Morristown Green and across the street near Headquarters Plaza to a litany of peace and prayers read by young people from the three churches. Then the train traveled back through the Green, back up South Street and then to Assumption Parish on Maple Avenue for closing prayers.
Several participants already are talking about commemorating the day again next year, with a few suggestions: inviting more houses of worship to participate, creating an International Peace Day banner to accompany the train, ending the event with some refreshments (driving a train burns a lot of calories!) and rigging some wheels to make the locomotion a bit easier.