I extend my greetings to the citizens, dignitaries and civic leaders of Rockford and to the Peace Coalition of the Rock River Valley. A few months ago, Rockford was chosen as the 107th International City of Peace by our organization. Our selection committee was sincerely inspired by the increasing legacy of peace building in the Rockford community.
But why Rockford? Why Rockford when there are cities such as Geneva, Switzerland, the Hague in the Netherlands, Stockholm, Sweden, and others that have had momentous advancements in peace building in the world? Our organization has the goal of 1,000 cities of peace by the year 2025 because we need to recognize the efforts of everyday people in peace building, as it is, in the end, our individual responsibility to better ourselves, our families, our communities, our nations and our world. This is where we will find peace in our shared future.
Rockford, through its Peace Coalition, has assembled more than 40 community groups and an impressive array of peace-building activities on a coordinated, organized basis, touching the lives of thousands, if not tens of thousands annually. Other cities around the globe are taking note.