August 2nd, 2023

August is International Peace Month

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

The pursuit of peace is a universal aspiration among all humanitarians worldwide. Leaders, activists, and organizations across nations tirelessly champion the cause of peace and strive to put an end to conflicts. The month of August is a time to celebrate peace and reflect back on tough times and reevaluate what it means to have peace among us. Originally founded on August 16, 1926, at the Democratic Peace Conference in Germany, August became International Peace Month as a time to reflect specifically on the First World War.

This month commemorates the aftermath of a series of miscalculations that culminated in the catastrophic destruction of the first World War. With its devastating toll of millions of lives lost and Europe left in ruins, the scale of devastation was previously unimaginable. This war not only shaped the course of the subsequent century into one marked by conflict and violence but also profoundly altered humanity’s perception of its own future. Generations that followed grew up in fear and harbored diminished expectations for what lay ahead, deeply impacted by the shadow of this war.

Throughout this month, we have the opportunity to seek peace in various aspects of our lives, beginning with our inner selves and extending to our families, communities, and the broader world. Peace goes beyond merely the absence of war; it involves taking actions, both big and small, to foster justice and equality for everyone. Individuals from all walks of life, including politicians, musicians, artists, and community leaders, share the common goal of striving for peace. By leading through example and taking concrete steps, each one of us can contribute to promoting peace in our community and on a global scale.

What are some simple methods to prepare one’s family for recognizing August as the International Peace Month? Below is a short list of excellent educational books regarding WWI, compiled from the “National Day Calendar” website:

– All Quiet On the Western Front by E.M. Remarque is a novel about the effects of the war on the men fighting it.
– Paths of Glory by Humphrey Cobb is a novel about corruption and injustice in the military. This piece of literature later became the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s classic film Paths of Glory.
– The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell is a study of how the war changed Western culture.
– The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman is a poignant story of how the war started.
– Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo is a graphic look at the horrors of war.