A new “pathway for peace” has been created out of pledges designed by students from 70 schools in Londonderry to honour the community’s new hope for peace. Each 25 word pledge was also accompanied by a piece of original artwork from each of the schools which took part.
The concept of a pathway for peace emerged following the reveal of Ireland’s first ever peace flame which is located near Derry’s Guildhall which was led by none other than Martin Luther King III earlier on this year in May. The event was attended by thousands all across Derry where the peace pledges was given to Mr King.
At the event, Dr David Latimer and Paddy Mackey welcomed the attendees of pupils; teachers and assistants like to get involved with Derry’s new project to introduce an array of peace pledges for the cities ‘new and enduring city feature’.
In addition, Dr Latimer added that ‘it will be a powerful beacon that can inspire thousands to turn their dreams of peace into a reality’.
Reverend David Latimer then went on to add that the 25 word peace pledges will be the kind of thing that they believe all youngsters need to hear in order to live in a much more settled society.
Furthermore, John O’Dowd, an education minister in Londonderry, said that he hopes schools everywhere ‘can follow their lead.’ He also added that ‘sometimes us grey haired people have to step back and allow the young people to give the leadership. I think if we allow to give them leadership we’ll have a better society.’
Continuing, the minister added that ‘growing our economy, tackling disadvantage and building a strong and shared community are just some of the challenges we face and education has a vital role to play in driving progress on these issues.’
Following the excitement surrounding the pathways final unveiling, Dr Durkan said that the action was a ‘tremendous statement of hope and purpose.’ He also went on to add that he is incredibly impressed with the work on behalf of the participating schools and that the words imprinted on the pledges displayed that the students have an open and positive outlook for the future of Londonderry.
He also commented that the students and teachers alike showed a great deal of respect and regard for the needs of those surrounding them. He congratulated those involved in this worthwhile Derry project and rewards the realisation for such a tremendous idea.
He ended by congratulating all of the pupils, teachers and assistants that have supported the concept of a pathway for peace and adds that it will remain as a landmark project for the city.
However, this isn’t the end of the enormity of Derry’s pathway to peace. The student’s pledges will also be assembled into a neat booklet on behalf of the Western Education and Library Board in hope that they will act as both a learning tool and an inspiration for the youth of today.