At least one thousand students from 11 Chicago Public Schools were on hand for the celebration of Chicago Peace Day's 44th anniversary Monday in Daley Plaza.
“We can all together pledge peace, not only across the world, but in our own communities. And for students, to see that firsthand in person on a beautiful day, it’s wonderful to see," said Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez.
Schools were encouraged to participate in pre-Peace Day activities, and many students took part by creating their own signs.
“I believe in a lot of things and peace is one of them," said Charles, a fifth grade student from Bronzeville Classical Elementary School.
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His classmate, Marley, added, “If everybody does their part, it will be possible."
Jayden, an eighth grade student from Talcott Elementary School said, “peace is where people come together,” although he admitted there is still a long way to go.
His classmate Sophia is optimistic.
“I have hope that it can actually change and will get better," she said.
Chicago Peace Day was created by the Peace School, a non-profit organization that helps people of all ages practice peace in everyday life.
“It’s all about people coming together, cultures and communities coming together to celebrate unity and diversity," explained Jennifer Kim, director of the school.