Pieces to Peace,

There will be no check-in table in Arlington in August
with an aging, greying teacher with a red Bic pen
waiting to grade assignments for more than ten miles of Ribbon.
All the pieces belong there:
all the symbols of a nation’s yearning for peace.

Who would want to judge the pieces?
Choose one as better than another?
Work of Art?
Work of heart?

Who would want to judge the pieces?
Lay aside a child’s rain-touched, felt tipped rainbow
for an artist’s gessoed work?

Who would want to say the eighth-grader’s acrylic basketball court
held more promise that the quilter’s careful stitches
holding her aching heart together after the evening’s late news?

Each one makes The Ribbon:
the pizza, poison ivy, pomegranate seeds
the ladybugs, mid-Hudson bridge,
and creed;
each segment makes The Ribbon.

It is in the addition we find the sum:
for it is one yard
plus one yard
plus each yard of cloth
that we honor the diversity,
that we celebrate the unity.

Each piece makes The Ribbon;
each piece brings the piece.


JOURNEY. Justine Merritt
CA: Hope Publishing House
1993. (p.111) -Arlington, VA 1985


The Congressional letters below were received in response to the Ribbon gifts given to the entire US Congress for signing on to the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/53/25 for the UN Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, Decade for 2001 -2010. (See Below)

Congressional Letters

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed an International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) in its resolution A/53/25 on November 10, 1998. At that time, they had already declared the Year 2000 as the International Year for a Culture of Peace, and they had received from UNESCO a draft document for a Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. 

Ribbons to Congress (2000)

The photos below are of some of the Ribbons given to Congress in 2000. They were each gift wrapped without names and randomly distributed by volunteers to each congressional office. Ribbon panels were created inspired by the phrase “What I cannot bear to think of as lost forever in a nuclear war,”  or from considering peace, disarmament or care of the environment.

Click on any of the thumbnail images below to see a larger image.  The larger images will all be displayed in a slideshow until you click anywhere outside of the large images or click on the square "stop" button below any of the large images.