Tuesday, August 11, 2015

By Susan D. Macafee 2014

This blog is dedicated to all the women, men, and children, the organizers, and planners  around the world, who's work and contributions continue to make Justine's vision a reality. 

Justine Merritt (1924-2009), [1] was an activist, a grandmother and former high school teacher from Denver, Colorado. During a trip in 1975 to Japan to visit her son, she was deeply moved by a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, Japan, where she reflected on the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1982, after a spiritual retreat to seek her mission, she conceived an idea for The Ribbon. Merritt, an embroiderer, considered the practice of tying a string around one’s finger to remember something. She then thought of wrapping the Pentagon with pieces of cloth as a reminder that life is precious and nuclear war unthinkable. [2][3] "The idea of literally wrapping the Pentagon with a peace Ribbon started with an appeal on 100 Christmas cards sent to friends in 1982." [4]

Justine's first Ribbon panel, embroidered .
with names of people she loved.

The nuclear arms race was very prominent in the world in 1982. Linda Pershing in her book The Ribbon Around the Pentagon: Peace by Piecemakers, [3] chronicled the nuclear arms race and included information from anti-nuclear advocate Helen Caldicott's book Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War[5] arms development and stockpiling quickly became an international enterprise. There were approximately 50,000 nuclear weapons in the world in 1983, when Merritt started her Ribbon project. "The United States and its allies (Britain and France) owned 31,000; the Soviet Union 20,000; China 225 to 300; India 102; Israel 200, and it is likely that Iraq, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan either had or were on the verge of producing their own nuclear weapons.” [5][3]  
On June 12, 1982, one million people demonstrated in New York City's  Central Park against  nuclear weapons and in support of the Second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament, for an end to the cold war arms race and a "Nuclear Freeze". It was the largest anti-nuclear protest and the largest political demonstration in American history. [6][7][8]

The following year on June 20, 1983, an International Day of Nuclear Disarmament occurred, at 50 sites in 18 states. Thousands of demonstrators across the United States protested and demanded an end to the nuclear arms race, resulting in 1,400 protesters being arrested. [9][10]  
Merritt had envisioned at least a mile of panels to make The Ribbon, each panel measuring thirty-six inches by eighteen inches, (91 by 46 cm) with a tie on each corner. The theme of The Ribbon was “What I cannot bear to think of as lost forever in a nuclear war.” [3][11][12][13][14] [15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]  People would convey their thoughts and emotions from this theme onto panels of cloth, using embroidery, quilting, painting and other media; conveying what they cared for in this world. Merritt also requested for people to put the story of their art work on the back of the panel. The Ribbon event was to take place on Sunday August 4, 1985, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The same day, another Ribbon event simultaneously also took place with Ribbons surrounding the A-Bomb Memorial at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. "A lot of people were reflecting on that, and on the Cold War that still hung over the country. People were really scared of a nuclear war, and people were looking for ways to express their desire for peace in non-violent ways." [18]

Mary Francis Jaster
Mary Frances Jaster in Denver, became the National Coordinator for the Washington, D.C. event, assisting the State Coordinators who were overseeing the thousands of panels needed, and being created for The Ribbon. [26][27] The creators of the  panels included quilters, embroiderers, children, seniors, artists, housewives, religious orders, doctors, farmers, athletes, and people from many walks of life and faiths.

For three years, before the event on August 4, 1985, individual panels were made and tied together as a Ribbon for local events. [26][28][29]

Many towns and organizations had Ribbon joining events with the panels. A Ribbon was created by the Sonoma County Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) for a local event in Santa Rosa, California,
where 600 panels were displayed. Also a display of panels in 1984, surrounded the 3 mile circumference of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. The Ribbon Starting in California (YouTube video). Produced by Barbara Hirschfeld; Sonoma Chapter of Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) and KRCB – Channel 22 - Petaluma, California.

Additional events were held in New York, Puerto Rico, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Oregon and Kentucky. [30] The State of California delegation contributed over 3,000 panels for the August 4th Ribbon event. The California group also sent a group of panels to Hiroshima, Japan for the August 4th Ribbon event, to surround the A-Bomb Memorial. [3][31]

California delegation on The National Mall August 4, 1985
Every state in the United States contributed panels for The Ribbon. Countries from around the world sent panels or Ribbons for the event. "Project organizers received panels from Australia, Canada, East Germany, England, France, Guatemala, Holland / Netherlands, India, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, the Soviet Union, Tanzania, West Germany, Zambia." [3]

A group of women with Church Women United, led a grassroots effort around the country, in making panels and assisting with the Washington, D.C. preparation. More than three thousand Ribbon panels were contributed by this group. Church Women United's news letters provided information on how to construct the panels, going to a half a million members of the Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church in America, the Salvation Army, the Quakers, Mennonite and twenty-nine Christian denominations. [25][27][32]

"Organizations that participated were Peace Links, United Presbyterian Women, Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament [WAND - "How We Got Here"], the Unitarian-Universalist Women's Assembly, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [WILPF], and the Lutheran Women's Assembly." [20]  Additional groups participating in The Ribbon were the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the National Freeze Campaign and 50 pro-freeze groups, in an "effort to achieve an underground nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union and a binding nuclear freeze resolution in Congress." [26]

Marie Dennis Grosso and Joan Urbanczyk, with part-time member Margaret Schellenberg from The Center for a New Creation, a peace group in suburban Arlington, Virginia, co-ordinated the Washington event full-time. The center concentrated on peacemaking, poverty, economic justice, human rights, and women's issues. [3]  

L - R:  Margaret Schellenberg, Mary Francis Jaster,
Merritt's mother Lucille Miller, Marie Dennis Grosso

Betty Bumpers, hosted a reception at the Stewart Mott
House in Washington, D. C. for Congressional
Representatives, and members of the media.
Merritt in white on the left.

  Joan Urbanczyk 

Betty Bumpers, an advocate for world peace and wife of Dale Bumpers, former U.S. Senator (1975-1999) and Governor  of Arkansas (1971-1975), with her group Peace Links, a national nonpartisan organization of women who opposed nuclear arms build up, also worked on preparations for the Washington, D.C. event. [4]

A 10-15-mile route through the heart of Washington, D.C., had to be designed and planned, meet with Metropolitan Police, Capitol Police, Secret Service, Pentagon Police and the National Park Service to discuss and obtain numerous permits to stage the event.

Letters describing the plans for the event in detail, were required by various government agencies and offices. Pentagon officials were contacted concerning the use of the grounds surrounding the Pentagon for August 4. Security was of utmost importance, the fifteen mile course from Virginia into Washington D.C., passed by some of the most important buildings and monuments in the country. Forty-nine churches and one senior's center in the Washington, D.C. area were located by The Center for New Creation to host individual state delegations and participants. The churches made arrangements for those who attended by hosting a reception, providing bag lunches, lodging and transportation. The host churches also displayed the state's panels before The Ribbon event. [3][4]

A 150-foot panel of tulips, sent from the Netherlands, was
displayed beside the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
On August 4, all of The Ribbon panels were to be joined together and strung around the Pentagon as an expression to the military and governmental powers of what is dear to people and what they feared could be lost in a nuclear disaster. Merritt’s idea spread throughout the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia through friends, relatives, places of worship and many organizations. Also, information was spread through local organization newsletters, art and craft magazines such as Fibre Art, Handwoven and Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine. [4][33][34][35][36][37] 

"In addition, a multitude of newspapers [35][39][40][41] and magazines published over 2,500 stories and articles concerning The Ribbon and the Washington, D.C. event. These appeared not only in local newspapers [12][17][20][21][23][24][26][27][29][31][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49] or organizational newsletters, but in national publications with large circulations, such as McCall's (Gittelson 1985), Mother Jones (Robinson 1985), People, (Grogan and Chandler 1985), [2] and Vogue magazine (L. Davis 1985). On the day of the event and soon thereafter, The Ribbon was reported by Time magazine (Pierce 1985) [50] and on the front page of The Washington Post (Saperstein 1985, [46] Kastor 1985, [52]  McGrory 1985 [53])." [3]  In addition to print coverage, The Ribbon was covered by every major network through radio and television. Merritt appeared on the American Broadcasting Company's (ABC) Good Morning America, in June and August 1985. before the event, and then in November [3] The Ribbon led by Merritt, was to become "one of the largest political demonstrations in more than a decade." [2]   
Before the interfaith service for peace held on August 3 at the Washington National Cathedral, the rector told Merritt to expect about five hundred people for the service, not imagining that there would actually be more than 5,000 people. During the service, every seat was taken and many people stood in the isles. The staff of the Cathedral reported that only at one other time had more people been in the building. [3]                      

On Saturday August 3, "the interior of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, for the first time in its history was absolutely overwhelmed with textile craft. More than 4,000 individual Ribbon segments (panels) became a part of an international dedication service for peace. Each of the 2,500 Cathedral seats was covered with an individual Ribbon. There were rows of Ribbon segments draped both balconies, from the Cathedral pulpit, segments tied and wrapped around each of 
the Cathedral pillars, and Ribbon segments carried by each of the individuals who participated in the dedication service." [18]  

"20 bagpipers in mufti (highland dress - kilts) led a procession of some 200 people, each  carrying banners; dancers moved among the throng; and then came the moment when the Howard University Gospel Choir sang that song from Perlie: "The World Ain't Comin' to an End My Friend, the World's Just  Comin' to a Start." [31] A meditation through dance accompanied singing an original song by Sandy Chapin "Ribbon of Life." [54] Writer Don Wilcox of The Craft Report stated “At one point during the service, the full house in the Cathedral tied all the segments together into a prayer for peace and held them aloft beseeching all gods and governments everywhere to listen  ... to hear! That moment was without doubt the most overwhelming visual craft event of my lifetime; I was overcome with a waterfall of tears.” [4]

Three survivors of the 1945 bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima came from Japan to participated in The Ribbon event. The survivors, addressed the congregation during the church dedication ceremony, at the Washington National Cathedral. stressing the abolition of nuclear war. The survivors also participated in the Sunday events the following day. [30] 

Susan Macafee tying panels together on The National Mall
On Sunday afternoon, August 4, The Ribbon was created, with all the individual panels joined together, creating 15 miles of a symbol of unity and becoming, according to Don Wilcox of The Craft Report "the largest collaborative craft event in American History." [4] It was estimated that close to 30,000 panels had been created for the event. The Washington Post reported 15 miles [49] and 25,000 panels tied together were used for The Ribbon, [51][52] the Chicago Tribune also reported 25,000 panels. [43]  Henry Gottlieb, with the Associated Press in Washington. D.C., reported a police estimate of 15,000-20,000 people participated in the event. [40]

The Ribbon forming on the grounds at the Pentagon,
The project had fulfilled and surpassed the dream of Merritt. The cloth panels tied together to form The Ribbon were assembled on the grounds at the Pentagon Building in Virginia and on the grounds of the National Mall at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The Ribbon wrapped around the Pentagon building, went through the Pentagon parking lots to the foot paths alongside the Jefferson Davis Highway and Washington Boulevard, crossing the Potomac River at the Arlington Memorial Bridge, into the Washington, D.C., National Mall area. 

The Ribbon being assembled on the ground of the
National Mall  at the U.S. Capitol Building.

The Ribbon then went past the Lincoln Memorial, along the south side of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool continuing east on the National Mall,  to wrap around the city block containing the U.S. Capitol Building. The Ribbon returned going west on the north side of the National Mall, going around The Ellipse by the White House, continuing past the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial, crossing the Potomac River again, and returning to the Pentagon.


Pete Seeger with guitar, center - Merritt's mother
Lucille Miller (white hair), Merritt right of small child.
The entire route was lined with people, and there were crowds at the three designated speaking areas, the Pentagon, the Lincoln  Memorial and the Capitol. "Dozens of women hailed from Germany; some from the U.S.S.R., Japan and more than 30 nations." [21] At each major speaking area, singers performed anti-nuclear folk songs and when the chain of panels creating The Ribbon was completed hundreds of balloons were released near the Lincoln Memorial. [43]

Merritt releasing balloons 
Renown activists Pete Seeger and Tom Chapin were among the many local musicians that provided singing, rotating between the three staging areas. [3] Newspaper stories about The Ribbon, had estimates of 15,000 to 25,000 people attending. [41]

Two Ribbon documentaries were created from videos taken, "fifty one professional television technicians from New York and Washington D.C., donated their services and their valuable equipment to record in detail the unfurling of The Ribbon in Washington, August 3 & 4. Nine Ribbon cameras were given priority positions in the National Cathedral to capture the beauty and the emotional words of the service of dedication. 
From sunrise on August 4, eleven camera and sound crews spread out across the nation's capitol to record the special moments of the unfurling of The Ribbon. Merritt was followed by a camera crew throughout the day. Lines of happy people carrying The Ribbon were photographed, and interviews were conducted with participants from every corner of the country." [54] The two documentaries from the film coverage were The Peace Ribbon - 1985 (YouTube video) covered the August 3rd and 4th events in Washington, D.C., and was produced by David Sabbath; WOUB Public Media; Ohio University Communications Center and the Ohio Art Council. The second documentary The Ribbon Starts Here [30]  (YouTube video), starts with Justine's travels to gain support for her Ribbon project and ends with the Washington, D.C. event. The documentary was produced and directed by Academy Award winning film maker, Nigel Noble, and Hilary Raff Lindsay, Nobel Enterprises in 1988. [3][4]  
After August 4, state coordinators returned to their states with their Ribbon panels to distribute for display [3][15] in libraries, schools, museums, and for use in parades and events. Historical societies [32] and universities have historical information about The Ribbon and archival collections of panels. [22] Some of the Ribbons and panels were selected as gallery pieces, which were sent to The Peace Museum in Chicago,Ill. Sixty Ribbons were
selected as gallery pieces by the Smithsonian Institution for its political history collection and others were given to the United Nations. [27][36][43] Panels were also sent to the National Textile Museum, and a major depository for panels and documents was the Texas Women's University, in Denton, Texas." [54][55]  Merritt's inaugural panel hangs in the Chicago Peace Museum. Her second panel is housed in a small museum in Sweden, and a third panel, given to the late Pope Saint John Paul II, is in the Vatican. Twenty-five banners hang in the political collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The Oakland Museum in Oakland, California, has thirty-five Ribbon Banners from 1985, in their collections. Banners were also hung in the Texas Woman's University, also a collection of banners. [18]

Numerous panels were sent abroad for peace, ecology, and religious groups as a demonstration of friendship and good will. Representatives from Women for a Meaningful Summit, in November 1985, used Ribbon panels to show their support for the diplomatic negotiations in the Geneva Summit (1985) Geneva, Switzerland, between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. [3]  Coretta Scott King and Bella Abzug, the former congress-woman accompanied the thirty six women with the Washington, D.C. based group, which was funded by an anonymous donor. The women forming the Women for a Meaningful Summit in July of 1985, were representatives from The Ribbon Project, Peace Links, Ploughshares Fund and the Women's Strike for Peace. [19] Panels were also given in 1985 to the United Nations Decade on Women international conference being held in Nairobi, Africa. [3]    

In 1986, Merritt's sister June Thompson from Palo Alto, California, an anti-nuclear activist along with a number of the five hundred participants in the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, carried Ribbons as they walked thirty-seven hundred miles across the continental United States, for action on global nuclear disarmament. Then on August 5, 1986, fifty Ribbon panels were taken to a demonstration at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Later that month, on August 31, a group of four hundred people gathered to surround the Horse Creek Missile Silo near Cheyenne, Wyoming, and with some participants showing Ribbon panels as part of their protest of the MX missile.

Also in 1986, 10,000 Ribbon panels were created and tied together linking the Bha'i religious temple in Sydney, Australia to the ocean. In South Africa, Black Africans and white mothers unite using Ribbons to tell their government they don't want their children killing each other. Ribbons were used to protest the razing of the Japanese Ikego Forest, and are displayed in Zushi, Japan for the environment, at the Ikego Forest. In New Zealand, Ribbons connect the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) embassies. [57] World Leader Mikhail Gorbachev of the USSR is presented a Ribbon by Justine Merritt.
 Bottom Ribbon panel created by children
in Wangigi, Kenya
In Okinawa|沖縄 Japan, during 1987, Ribbons were used in surrounding the largest military base in the Pacific arena.  In Holland, Ribbon panels were used to connect the US and USSR embassies.
Calendar - Israeli and Palestinian youth Ribbons

On the island of Sri Lanka. the religious groups of Tamli, Sinhalese and Christians, joined together and exhibited Ribbon segments. In the Middle East 1988-1989, the Interns for Peace Calendar shows Ribbons made by Arab and Jewish children. Ribbons were made at the West Bank and Gaza Strip for a peace event.

L > R - Annelise Hansen, Representative from International
 Mothers of Liberia organization. Ribbons were created
  and displayed outside UN Headquarters, August 1997,

by International Mothers of Liberia. Ribbon panel

   tells a story of how Liberian mothers do not want their
  children taken and made to fight in a war.
Civil war in Liberia claimed the lives of almost 150,000 people—mostly civilians—and led to a complete breakdown of law and order. Fighting began in late 1989, and by early 1990, several hundred deaths had already occurred in confrontations between government forces and fighters. It displaced scores of people, both internally and beyond the borders, resulting in some 850,000 refugees in the neighbouring countries. United Nations Mission in Liberia A documentary video The Ribbon In South Africa was created in 1986, and is available in the OCLC WorldCat library system. The documentary follows the anti-apartheid movement among women in South Africa, and how black and white mothers used the Ribbon project, creating panels and having Ribbon events in front of government buildings to protest their sons going to war and killing each other in South Africa.

Courtesy - The Peace Museum Wales UK

In the Spring of 1990, an exhibit of 30 Ribbon panels from 
the 1985 Washington, D.C. event were put on display in the United Kingdom's Parliament House Of Common's (HOC) Upper Waiting Room, where Members of Parliament MPs) pass every day. The Ribbon panels then went on tour around the UK to cathedrals, town halls, and conferences.

Thalia Campbell, a peace activist from Wales in the UK, and a member of the Women's Cooperative Guild, made numerous peace and environmental banners starting in the early 1980s, during her involvement at protests at Greenham Common, an airbase where nuclear cruise missiles were kept. 

Courtesy - The Peace Museum Wales UK

To counteract a negative attitude towards America at the time, Thalia decided to borrow some of  the 1985 Washington, D.C., Ribbon panels from the United States, to be shown in the United Kingdom.

Thalia was inspired by Justine's 1985 project, and approached House Of Commons Parliament Member Dame Joan Ruddock 1987-2015, about setting up an exhibit of Ribbon panels from the Washington, D.C. event. Prior to her election to Parliament, Dame Ruddock was chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament 1981-1985. The UK organization advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, she resigned in 1985.
Courtesy - The Peace Museum Wales UK

Ribbon panels were obtained by Thalia for the exhibit from a trip to the Peace Museum in Chicago USA, panels were also sent to her from various states within the United States. The events were sponsored by the UK Cooperative Movement, and assisted by Justine in the USA. The theme of the exhibit was named by Justine "What I Cannot Bear To Lose Forever In A Nuclear War." Justine traveled to London for the opening of the HOC exhibit, and she and Thalia went on a speaking tour around the UK. Then the Ribbon panels went on tour around  the UK. The USA Ribbon panels are housed in The Peace Museum in Wales UK.

Ribbon exhibit, Palais Des Nations, Geneva, for the Non
Proliferation Treaty of Nuclear Weapons conference, 1990.
In New York State, the coordinators had collected an international collection of Ribbons. New panels continued to be created for Ribbons to be displayed at various environmental and peace events. Sister Mary Beth Reissen, President of The United Nations Non-Governmental Disarmament Committee [58] referred New York Ribbon Coordinators, Michele Peppers and Hannah Wassermann to the United Nations exhibit committee. After several meetings, the committee requested an exhibit of Ribbons for the 1990 Conference being held in Geneva, Switzerland for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. [59] During the October 4th conference, Ribbons were displayed in the Palais des Nations, for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NTP) Conference. Ribbons were also exhibited in London at the Houses of Parliament.

The ending of the cold war was in the late 1980's, with former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev bringing the cold war to a peaceful end. On October 15,1990 Gorbachev received the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Ribbons exhibited at the Rockefeller Center Plaza,
 subway display window, New York. Throughout the
1990s, various Ribbons were displayed.
The Ribbon evolved into The Ribbon International, and in 1991 became a United Nations Non Governmental Organization (UN NGO DPI Organizations) in association with the Department of Public Information. The grass roots project starting in 1982 and the movement of The Ribbon event in 1985, has spread around the world, promoted by people and organizations concerned with nuclear weapons, the environment and peace. 
UN Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Conference.
White haired woman Hannah Wassermann

In 1991, Ribbons were displayed in New York City for another 
nuclear weapons conference, [60] at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Ribbons were exhibited at the United Nations during the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Conference. Included were panels created by Iraqi and American children. New York State Museum in Albany has an International Ribbon exhibit.

UN Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Conference.

The following year June 3-14, 1992, Ribbons were displayed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and around the planet during the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), "The Earth Summit," focused on the environment and sustainable development. Ribbons were also displayed in 1993, at the first United Nations World Conference on Human Rights. Vienna, Austria, June 14-25. The human rights conference was attended by 171 State or Government heads, focusing as a international community developing a common plan for the strengthening of human rights work around the world.

In the Republic of Singapore in 1993, The Ribbon concept inspired a creative Ribbon contest focusing on the environment. In Chicago, Illinois The Ribbon was a co-sponsor of the Parliament of World Religions, to promote understanding and cooperation among religious communities and institutions.

In 1994, the Canadian Ecumenical Council Calendar featured Ribbon segments as part of United Nations related art. In Gas City and Marion, Indiana, Marlene and Tom DeFilippis promoted creating and exhibiting Ribbons, in preparation for the United Nations 50th anniversary, which became an annual event. [61][62]


Monica Willard - Justine Merritt - Michele Peppers
on the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial

1995 marked the 10th anniversary of The Ribbon. Justine Merritt returned to Washington, D.C., along with Michele Peppers and Monica Willard, including 150 people from Huntington, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. to mark the 10th year anniversary of The Ribbon event and the 50th anniversary of the nuclear bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Also in 1995, the UN NGO Interns for Peace worked with Israeli and Palestinian youth creating Ribbons and joining them together at the Gaza Strip[63]  13 kilometers (8 miles) of Ribbon panels and segments were created with hand prints, by children from, Egypt, Israel, Jordon, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Italy and China to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister Rabin participated with putting their handprints on Ribbon segments for the event. [64]


The Ribbon panels and segments, were joined together and carried over land and under water; with the help of scuba divers at the Dolphin Reef, to connect Egypt, Israel and Jordon, in a showing of world peace. The Israeli children's TV program Zap was the sponsor of The Ribbon event, a video Zap for Peace (YouTube video) was created and broadcast by the Israeli Broadcast Authority.

In June  of 1996, a gathering celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the United Nation's first location at Lehman College, located in the Bronx, NY, before moving to New York City. Lehman College is known as the "First U.S. Home of the United Nations". "For five months in 1946—from March 25 until August 15, when the U.N. moved to another temporary home on Long Island—the eyes of the world often turned to this corner of the Bronx." [65]

To far left holding first Ribbon: Rene Chevray; man in white behind Rene not known; President Ricardo Ferandez of Lehman College;
Judy Lerner and Chung Ja Jadivat, UN NGO representatives of Peace Action; lady in rust jacket and man with white hair unknown;
Michele Peppers, UN NGO representative of The Ribbon International, Sorosh Roshan, President and UN NGO representative of
International Health Awareness Network; Dorothy Prunhuber, UN NGO representative of The Ribbon International;
kneeling in front, Keiko Chevray, UN NGO representative of IHAN. 

In 1997, the country of Estonia on the Baltic Sea, used Ribbons to celebrate peace. Ribbons are taken to the Caribbean country of Haiti to promote a culture of peace. In Magdeburg, Germany, the Mayor inspires the city's population to create and display Ribbon panels for the United Nations Human Rights Day on December 10th and other occasions. The Bonadssamlingen Museum in Stenstorp, Sweden exhibits Ribbons. 

In 1998, as Merritt's great energies began to wane, she retired to Eugene, Oregon to be near her devoted children." [66][67] 

Ribbons were exhibited at
Bonadssamlingen, Sweden, March 1997.
The Swedish Borås Textile
Museum has a collections of Ribbons
Ribbons were displayed at the UNESCO Action Plan on Cultural Policies for Development conference in Stockholm, Sweden, March 30 - 2 April, 1998. The Power of Culture –  The Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development, held in Stockholm, was designed by UNESCO to transform the ideas from the report Our Creative Diversity into policy and practice. This report was presented in 1995 by the World Commission on Culture and Development, established by the United Nations and UNESCO and led by Javier Pérez de Cuéllar.
UNESCO  Stockholm, Sweden

1998 was also the United Nations International Year of the Oceans, people were encouraged to create Ribbons, through out the year. In its role as the designated lead agency for the year, UNESCO coordinated and organized the bulk of the campaign’s scientific debate and public awareness activities. Many Member States, as well as United Nations Programmes and Specialized Agencies with mandates in the field of marine affairs, are also expected to drive issue-or country-focused promotional campaigns on ocean-related matters throughout 1998.

Ribbons are displayed annually at the World Peace Society Festival, Amenia, NY, Aug. 1999. In the original Japanese version of May Peace Prevail On Earth, the character for Earth includes not only humankind, but Life in all Realms of Creation. When we speak the words, May Peace Prevail on Earth imagine that the frequency and energy field of Love, Peace and Harmony reaches the kingdom of plants animals and all of Creation including our solar system, the cosmos and the Universe at large.

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on December 10th. This observation commemorates the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1999, Ribbon panels were displayed for Human Rights Day in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ribbons were also exhibited in the Netherlands at the Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP99). Ribbons were created for the International Year of Older Persons.
On the left: Lori Guglielmino Kepler
In October 2000, a Peace Ribbon was presented by Loretta Kepler to the wife of the Rev. Hector Mendez, minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Havana, Cuba. [68] "I wasn't expecting to speak in front of the whole congregation, but that Sunday the Reverend Mendez introduced our group and brought out the Ribbon. With words in Spanish, that were pulled from my past I said that these were two islands in the same sea, and that our one hope as for peace. People cried."

Church Women United (CWU) initiates The Ribbon as part of their celebrated days of prayers for peace such as World Community Day. The event is organized by CWU, an ecumenical organization of Christian women who are working to strengthen families. World Community Day focuses on justice and peace around the world, and it is typically celebrated on the first Friday in November.

In 2000, The Ribbon International United Nations Non Governmental Committee with the help of Betty Bumpers and her group Peace Links, gave each U.S. Congressional leader a Ribbon panel for the United Nations International Year for the Culture of Peace, and for the United Nations International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001- 2010. The panels were well received, numerous Congressional leaders sent thank you letters, [69] and displayed the Ribbon panels in their offices. [70][71][72]

Pope Saint John Paul II, Michele Peppers and Justine 
Merritt at the Vatican, Rome. October 17, 2001. 

Ribbons have been given to the  New York City Council, including noted people such as, former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.  Founder Justine Merritt and Michele Peppers present a Ribbon panel to Pope Saint John Paul II in Rome, in honor of the United Nations resolution for the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non Violence for the Children for the World (2001-2010).

Any individual or group can create a panel for a Ribbon or start The Ribbon in their community. A panel could be given as a gift to someone who has done something special for peace, the environment or disarmament. Ribbon events can be held for special designated days like the International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, Earth Day April 22, or a special prayer day or event. Every year the separate municipality and city of Lugansk, Ukraine takes part in The Ribbon project, spreading it throughout the country. [73]

Ribbon event annually in Lugansk, and a city festival,  
with 60 schools involved in the special event. 2009.



Annually in Lake  Havasu, Arizona, adults, seniors and children create Ribbons and hold a Ribbon event for United Nations Day, promoted by Marlene and Tom DeFilippis  after their location to Arizona. [74]

Lake Havasu City, AZ, Jamaica Elementary School after
school program, Oct. 2007.

In Japan, the city of Hiroshima joins Ribbons with prayers for peace around the A-Bomb Memorial for the anniversary of the nuclear bombing. [75]

The Ribbon surrounding the Hiroshima
A-Bomb Memorial.

The UN NGO York City annual Ribbon Committee in New York joined, (2002-2012) Ribbons with the Interfaith Prayer for Peace, starting from the United Nations Headquarters to the World Trade Center site. [76]  After September 11, 2001, Merritt called The Ribbon, The Ribbon of Tangible Hope, she wanted a Ribbon long enough to stretch from the United Nations to the World Trade Center Memorial site, and to a Muslim shrine. 

L>R -  Dorothy Prunhuber, Susan Nickerson, Unknown,        
Kathleen Daly, June Tano, Unknown (mother of child),
Michele Peppers, Barbara Gathard, Malaak Shabaz 

On September 11, 2003, Ribbons panels are joined and an Interfaith Prayer for Peace is given, in the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, New York City, New York. Dag Hammarskjöld was the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, from April 10, 1953 until September 18, 1961, when he died in a plane crash while on a peace mission in the Congo. In 1961, he received the Nobel Peace Prize "posthumously in gratitude for all he did, for what he achieved, for what he fought for to create peace and goodwill among nations and men."
L>R - 1st row: Michele Peppers, Unknown, Kathleen Penepacker,
Suzanne Stutman, Unknown  2nd row: Unknown, Keiko Chevray,
Sorosh Roshan  3rd row (holding Ribbon); Unknown, 
Bihn Le (Suzanne Stutman and Bihn Le are Professors)

In the state of Pennsylvania during 2004, a tree planting peace event took place, with faculty and students of Pennsylvania State University, commemorated the event with a Ribbon panel.

The Power of Culture UNESCO 2004 conference, hosted by the Government of Sweden, was attended by ministers and officials from nearly 140 of UNESCO's 186 Member States (190 Member States and 6 Associate Members), and, in addition, by invited persons active in cultural fields all over the world – in total there were about 2,200 participants.

Mayors for Peace at New York City Hall
The Ribbon Committee worked with The New York City Council on "Nuclear Weapons Abolition Day" (4/28/04), representatives Mayor Iccho Itoh from Nagasaki and Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba from Hiroshima, Japan, along with a group of approximately 30 mayors from around the world attended the UN related nuclear conference. Mayors for Peace is an organization that was started by Hiroshima Mayor Takeshi Mraki, with membership of over 5,000 Mayors worldwide to work with mayors on a global scale for the abolition of nuclear weapons and peace. Gift Ribbon panels and the proclamation were given to representatives for Mayors for Peace, New York City Council and September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

L>R -Front row: (white jacket) Sorosh Roshan, Michele
Peppers, Miyoko Wantanabe,  Keiko Chevray,
Back row: Unknown, Bihn Le, Unknown

Miyoko Wantanabe (middle of panel), a Hiroshima survivor and President of the Hiroshima Peace Ribbon Association is presented with a Ribbon created by Lehman College Students. The Ribbon has messages of peace in many languages and will be added to the Hiroshima Museum collection. 

In July of 2005, a Ribbon was created in Wangigi, Kenya for
the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non Violence for the Children of the World.

Printed at the bottom of the Ribbon: "Please take 
care of  this world and us until we grow up!"

The objective of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, 2001–2010, was to strengthen further the global movement for a culture of peace following the observance of the International Year for the Culture of Peace in 2000.

On September 11, 2005, representatives from Church Women United joined other United Nation NGOs at the World Trade Center Memorial site for the Interfaith Prayer. [77]
Nobel Laureate Jody Williams (1997) between the
two Girl Scouts at the A-Bomb Memorial.

During August 31 –  September 3, 2006, a global conference was held in Hiroshima, Japan for "Building a Just and Sustainable Peace," - Hiroshima Peace Conference. The conference was initiated by the International Health Awareness Network and Lehman College of The City University of New York and co-sponsored with Abington College, Penn State University; Mission of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations; Office of the Mayor of Hiroshima; Office of the U.N. Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States; The Ribbon International; and the University of the District of Columbia. 
                Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi (2003) between
the two Girl Scouts at the A-Bomb Memorial.
Keynote speakers for the conference included Nobel Laureates Jody Williams (1997) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), who participated with the Girl Scouts in the closing Ribbon ceremony at the A-Bomb Memorial Hiroshima, Japan. [78]

During Sept. 20 - Dec. 8. 2007, in Monterrey, Mexico a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization); Universal Forum of Cultureswas held. Ribbons were created throughout the city of Monterrey before the forum. The event was organized by Alicia Martinez, the Coordinator for The Ribbon in Latin America, a school principle, to focus on a Culture of Peace. The 2007  Monterrey Forum provided the participants with the opportunity to experience a wide array of Cultural Expressions from all continents of the world.  
Ribbon panels hanging in exhibiting area.

L> R - Michele Peppers, UN NGO Representative for
The Ribbon International; Josefina Alejandro Flores,
 Director of Extracurricular Education from the Ministry of
Education in Nuevo Leon; Nobel Laureate Jody Williams
speaking; Roque Gonzalez Salazar, Ambassador and
Founder of the UNESCO Northeastern Region
 Committee in Mexico; Alicia Martinez

Ribbon panels being displayed.

Created Ribbon panels being presented

More than 1,000 single events were presented, during the 80 days of the event, involving 189 companies from more than 75 countries.  Ribbon workshops were held at the forum as well. Thousands of Ribbons were created and hung in the exhibiting areas, panel discussion and Ribbon joining event with students participating was held throughout the conference area.  Nobel Laureate, Jody Williams; and Alicia Martinez (organizer of the Ribbon workshops, display and event) participated in joining the panels to create The Ribbon. Michele Peppers, Executive Director of The Ribbon International, attended the event and gave a presentation. A number of videos were filmed and can be located and viewed in the bottom section named "Videos" - UNESCO.

In August of 2008, peace banners were created for the November Scooter Foundation's Third Annual Freedom from Gun Violence Peace Walk (YouTube video) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and filmed by New Moon Productions.
In preparation for the Peace Walk and launch of Stand Together Milwaukee -  STM, Scooter Foundation, & community members gathered on June 2 at the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center to create banners to join The Ribbon International. STM and community artist volunteers decorated banners with inspirational images of "what they most want to protect." All of the banners were then tied together with colorful Ribbons, creating a 40-yard long community banner representing Milwaukee standing together in peace and unity, to be carried in the Peace Walk.

In June of 2010, The First Unitarian Society youth of  Milwaukee, join the United Nations Ribbon International Project. After viewing this short video and participating in age appropriate dialog on peace, they create banners with images – reflecting “what they most want to protect in the world.” All of the banners are tied together with colorful Ribbons to create a lasting banner representing 
 their combined symbols of peace. The group  becomes an immediate member of The Ribbon International Project – joining participants from across the globe – all working to promote peace.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Also, in 2010, Church Women United held a peace litany joining
The Ribbon of Tangible Hope in the state building in Oklahoma City in honor of the fifteenth anniversary for those who died in the Alfred P. Murrah  Federal Building[79]  Over the years, Church Women United has wrapped The Ribbon around numerous sites.


"Ground Zero"  1st row kneeling: June Tano, Susan
Schecter, 2nd row: L>R Susan Nickerson, Lori
Guglielmino, Sara Bluestone, Michele Peppers,
Teresa Cerulla, Tara Oodit.

The Ribbon International Project goes by the United Nations and "Ground Zero" on September 11, 2010, for the annual Ribbon joining and Interfaith Prayer for Peace.

On September 3-5, 2011, in Bonn, Germany, The Ribbon International participated in the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference: Sustainable Societies. Responsive Citizens, associated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). The conference will seek to highlight effective ways in which civil society can contribute to creating and maintaining sustainable societies.

L>R - Unknown, Dorothy Prunhuber, Unknown,
Michele Peppers,  June Tano

Sub-themes could include environmental sustainability, green manufacturing and commerce, transparent governance, grassroots activism, and limiting personal carbon footprints. The Conference will seek to contribute to civil society preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The organizers include DPI/NGO Relations, NGO/DPI Executive Committee, the Government of Germany, the City of Bonn and UN Volunteers (UNV).

In December of 2011, the 70th anniversary of Church Women United was held at the Bally's Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The theme of the meeting was a "Legacy and Light," with Ribbons being held in prayer and on display.



On August  5th 2012, Pax Christi New York City hosted the 67th Memorial Service for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombing, with a speech, prayer and public witness to express opposition to nuclear weapons. The Ribbon International participated in the events and vigil walk, displaying Ribbon panels.

L>R June Tano, Susan Schecter, Kathy Daly,
other two people holding Pax Christi sign unknown.

Strawberry Fields Forever, Central Park NYC,
 “Imagine” memorial for John Lennon, Beatles,
Peace event with music.
Holding Ribbons, L>R Susan Schecter, Kathy Daly,
June Tano, all others unknown.









"The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace."

"From education to the arts, social justice to sports, health to the environment, neighborhood issues to service for others, there are many ways to participate in Peace Day! We invite you to create a public or private activity related to peace, spread the word about Peace Day and/or attend an event in your community."

The below photos are from the International Day of Peace event, September 21, 2013, at the Band Shell, Central Park, New York City.  Ribbons were displayed, and then joined together, the Interfaith Prayer for Peace was read.
L>R Gina Lowe, Kathy Daly, Tara Oodit, Dorothy Prunhuber, Michele Peppers, Unknown, Susana Bastarrica 
L>R  Unknown, Unknown, Tara Oodit, Kathleen Daly, Gina Lowe
L>R Michele Peppers, Unknown , Susanna  Bastarrica,   
Dorothy Prunhuber, Kathy Daly, Tara Oodit

On August 4th, 2014 a Peace event and walk to St. John's Lutheran Church took place in front of the Ghandi statue, Union Square Park, New York City. This event was in honor of Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi (1869–1948). Gandhi is widely recognized as one of the twentieth century's greatest political and spiritual leaders. Honored in India as the father of the nation, he pioneered and practiced the principle of Satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass nonviolent civil disobedience.

Latifa Woodhouse holding Ribbon panel

Also another event took place in New York City on August 4, 2014, which is in concert and solidarity with annual events held in Washington, D.C., organized by Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and their co-sponsoring organizations. The events in Washington, D.C. take place in front of the White House and Pentagon, which have occurred for close to 40 years. 

On August 5 (6 in Japan) 2014, the coalition of peace groups, organized by the Manhattan Project for a Nuclear Free World, started an annual event to visit the Japanese Consulate in New York City. The peace groups join together, taking to the consulate a bouquet of flowers, and a letter of apology for attacking Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, the worst weapons of genocide. 

On Sunday, September 21, 2014 over 400,000 people gathered in Manhattan, New York, N.Y., for the historic People's Climate March, (YouTube video) was filmed  by Scott McPartland that was being held before a summit of 120 world leaders on climate change at the United Nations. 
In addition, there were 2,646 solidarity events taking place in 162 countries, [80] to raise awareness of climate change. The Climate March was created by the environmental group 350.org, along with the founder of the organization, writer/ activist Bill Kibben. The largest climate march in history was also filmed by Democracy Now, People's Climate March (YouTube video),with Interviews by Amy Goodman. [81]

L>R - Wearing Ribbons -  Dorothy Prunhuber and June Tano
at the Climate March

The two mile march started in Central Park West and Columbus Circle, weaving around the center of Manhattan on sixth avenue, passing by Ribbon panels, which were worn by members of The Ribbon International committee as they joined the thousands of people marching in the People's Climate March. Other organizations carried Ribbons, such as the Gray Panthers and Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
The United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21, 2014 was also taking place in Central Park. "Each year The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The Vigil for the International Day of Peace, has been held annually since 2002 in Central Park, NYC.  It is a grassroots effort sponsored many United Nations Non Governmental Organizations, dedicated to promulgating peace through participation in art, song, dance, music, prayer and ceremony. 

Rev. Susana Bastarrica is the Founder/ Organizer of the event. In 2001, the United Nations unanimously passed a resolution (55/82) designating September 21st of each year as an International Day of Peace. The intention of this resolution is to have the entire world observe a full day of "global ceasefire and nonviolence."      
Ribbons have been displayed annually and the Interfaith Litany read for this event. The theme of this year’s (2014)
International Day of Peace is the "Right of Peoples to Peace."

"The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace," recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights." [82] Ribbons were exhibited all day, for the event at the at the NYC Central Park Bandshell.

On Wednesday, August 5th, 2015, the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a coalition of peace groups gathered in front of the Japanese Consulate General in New York City to honor the memory of those who lost their lives to the atomic bombings. The coalition was represented by The NYC Chapter of Veterans for Peace, Pax Christi Metro NY, NYC War Resisters League, Ribbon International, Granny Peace Brigade, NYC Metro Raging Grannies, CODEPINK NY, NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, CODEPINK Long Island: Women for Peace, Peace Boat US, Peace Action NYS, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NJ Peace Action and Manhattan Project. [83]

"The coalition supports the commitment of the Japanese people to protect their peace constitution Article 9. It encourages them in their continued opposition to Japan’s reliance on the U.S.-Japan military alliance and the U.S. nuclear umbrella. It endorses their efforts to enroll the Japanese government as a signatory to the Humanitarian Pledge, now joined by 113 non-nuclear weapon states. This initiative is designed “to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons” just as the world had done for chemical and biological weapons." [83]

"The coalition’s conviction is that nuclear weapons must never be used again against any nation under any circumstances. The message of peace from Hibakusha to the people of the world is an appeal for all to realize a world free of nuclear weapons." [83]

A detailed description of the August 5, 2015 event, "Coalition of Peace Groups Gather at Japanese Consulate," with photos, was created by Japan Culture NYC. [84] The article contains a description of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitutions, which the coalition emphasized their support  for retaining Article 9. Also included is "An Open Letter 
The Ribbon International members at the Japanese
 Consulate with Ribbon panels.
L>R - June Junko Tano, Michele Peppers,  
Jen Johnson, Barbara Gathard, Joan Davis
to People of Japan from Concerned Peace Organizations and Citizens of the United States - In observance of the 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Japan." [83]

Another event took place on August 6th, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Manhasset, Long Island, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Members of The Ribbon International attended, displaying Ribbon panels.
Amy Goodman speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Church

The following Sunday. August 9th, Pax Christi Metro New York, co-sponsored by the Manhattan Project and The Ribbon International held their annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial, reflecting on the 70th anniversary of the bombing and opposition to nuclear proliferation. The afternoon's program was "Catholic Morality and Nuclear Abolition" with Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Nuncio of the Holy See to the United Nations. Amy Goodman, author, journalist and host of Democracy Now, was a speaker for the commemoration. [83]  
 On September 20, 2015, the Vigil for the International Day of Peace, a day long event displaying Ribbons, was held at the Bandshell, in NYC Central Park. The Ribbon panels were held by participants with the reading of the Interfaith Litany for Peace in the afternoon.  Children from Folklore Hispano Bensonhurst helped with holding the Ribbons while the Interfaith Litany for Peace was read. 
On stage holding Ribbons, L>R - Susana Bastarrica, Susan Nickerson, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Michele Peppers, Unknown
Bottom row all unknown.

A display of Ribbons were shown at the Women Deliver 2016 Conference, which was held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 16-19 May 2016. The conference was the largest gathering on girls' and women's health, rights, and wellbeing in more than a decade, and one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


Ribbons were held on Raragansett Beach, Rhode Island, on June 21, 2016 to observe the solstice at the Tsunami of Love event organized by artist Mimi Sammis. Over 100 people circled her 20 foot Dance of Peace sculpture as we sent our love and prayers to the world.  In 1999, a 4 foot Dance of Peace was a part of her United Nations exhibit, A 1000 Years of Peace. In this photo are people from 4 different states and 2 people from Europe. 

A Peace gathering on August 4, 2017, was held in front of the Consulate General of Japan, York City, to commemorate the 72nd Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. An open letter was given to the Consulate of Japan concerning the importance of abolishing nuclear weapons globally toward a more peaceful world, from concerned Peace organizations and citizens of the United States.
L>R - June Tano, Unknown, Shirley Cheney,
Unknown, Michele Peppers
L>R - First three people unknown, Rosemarie Pace,
Rev. T.K. Nakagaki, Shirley Cheney,
Person in front Unknown


Ribbons were displayed at the UN General Assembly High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, September 7, 2017. On September 13, 1999, the UN GA adopted, by consensus and norm setting resolution 53/243 on the Declaration and Program of Action on COP. Among other things, it provided the driving force for the effective observance and realization of the objectives of the UN declared International Decade for Culture of Peace and Non Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010). Asserting and re-affirming the commitment of the totality of the UN membership for building the Culture of Peace, the UN GA has adopted resolutions on the subject every year since 1997.
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury,
Michele Peppers
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, from Bangladesh, was the former
Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the UNAKC (The Department of Peacekeeping Operations), has devoted many years as an inspirational champion for sustainable peace and development and ardently advancing the cause of the global movement for the culture of peace that has energized civil society all over the world. 
Rijuta Tooker


L>R - Anne Creter, Iris Spelling, Sharon Deep

On Sunday, September 17, 2017, the annual International Day of Peace commemoration was held at the Central Park Bandshell, New York City. The Interfaith Litany is being read.

Susan Schecter holding red Ribbon and Susan Nickerson
holding blue Ribbon next to her, remaining people unknown.


 The Ribbon International is a member of Abolition 2000, which is a network of over 2000 organizations in more than 90 countries world wide working for a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. The Ribbon International was pleased to learn that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
Abolition 2000 republished the statement of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee confirming to the award, "and we hope that this leads to early entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.
Juan Torres a senior high school student from Bayshore, NY, is The Ribbon International's new youth representative. Barb Gathard, one of our Ribbon committee members, gave a presentation at her local high school's Model United Nations class. Juan was so impressed with her presentation, he offered to attend the annual Peace Memorial Service in Hiroshima, Japan on August 8, 2018,.

L>R - Peggy Montgomery, Committee on Teaching
About  the United Nations (CTAUN); Barbara Gathard,
The Ribbon International (TRI); Justina Okogun,
OOSafewomb International Foundation, Nigeria, (OOSAIF).
 UN Bookshop photo 

The Ribbon International display at the UN DPI / NGO Conference, August 22-23, 2018, "We the Peoples Together Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems" The United Nations has set a plan of "17 Sustainable Development Goals" to achieve by 2030. 

L>R - Michele Peppers, Barbara Gathard,
Juan Torres and June Tano
Ribbon panel "Remember the Children."

UN Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.  The Interfaith Prayer for Peace was read by participants as well. This prayer is often used at Ribbon joining events, such as the International Day of Peace, Sept. 21; special prayer days for places of worship, Memorial Anniversary for Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombing and other related events for peace, care of the environment and disarmament.

UN International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Sept. 26, 2018, Interfaith prayer service sponsored by Pax Christi Metro NY.  Event held at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across the street from the UN, attended by Interfaith leaders and UN NGO representatives including The Ribbon International.
L> R - 1st row, Susan Schecter, Sahar Alsahlani, Rev. Chloe Breyer, Unknown, Br. Terry Taffe,  Nicee Schneider, Dolores Schmitt, June Tano, Divjot Singh.
 2nd row, Unknown, Unknown, Br. Anthony Zumba, Sri Ravi Vaidyanaat, Fr. Frank Breen, Terry Katz, George Horton. 

In January of 2019, The Ribbon International Committee announced a world wide event, for August 1, 2020, in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of  Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1944. The Ribbon International is planning to have a Ribbon event in New York City and in other cities around the world. Please join us, and pray for a world without nuclear weapons and never another nuclear tragedy. (If you cannot attend an event, please pray with us wherever you are located, in remembrance of this special day.)

June Tano on the right.

On Friday, July 12, 2019, The Ribbon International participated in the “No War with Iran” protest, organized by Peace Action New York. We gathered in front of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand's office buildings.

Ribbon Making activity, preparing for ’Ribbon 2020’, August 1st, 2020: Morningside Quaker Meeting Retreat at Stony Point Retreat Center, NY : September 13~15, 2019.

The annual gathering of a coalition of peace groups took place on Monday, August 5th, 2019, the 74th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The gathering was sponsored by the Manhattan Project For A Nuclear-Free World, co-sponsored by the Peace Boat, and endorsed by  Veterans For Peace. The peace groups gathered front of the Japanese Consulate General in New York City to honor the memory of those who lost their lives to the atomic bombings. 

R>L  - June Tano, Juan Torres,
Susan Nickerson
An Open Letter to People of Japan from Concerned Peace Organizations and Citizens of the United States in Observance of the 74th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings in Japan was read. The undersigned, represented a coalition of concerned peace organizations and citizens of the United States are advocating for abolition of nuclear weapons globally. The Ribbon International, was one of the undersigned groups, and participated in the gathering.

R>L - After yellow banner - June Tano, Juan Torres, 
Susan Nickerson

Ribbon Exhibit/Booth
L>R:  Michele Peppers, Annelise Hansen
(Representative, Kulturel Information
  and Koordination, Denmark)
The 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference: Building Inclusive and Sustainable Communities, was held August 26-28,  2019, in Salt Lake, Utah. 

The Ribbon International, a NGO organization, participated in the three day event. Conference participants created panels with statements: “Your Message for the Future: Join Us August 1, 2020.” See The Ribbon International website for more information.  

L>R: Susan Nickerson, Michele Peppers,
Annelise Hansen 
L>R: Emilie McGlone, Michele Peppers, Susan Nickerson .

June Tano
The New York City climate protest, rally, and march organized by the Youth Climate Strike Coalition, took place on September 20, 2019, three days before the UN Climate Summit, to demand real action by our elected officials and world leaders. The Ribbon International, took part in the events.   

On September 4th, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, Ribbon Tokyo members are gathered together for their monthly meeting for “Ribbon 2020”.
L>R: top row; unknown, Monica Willard, Michele Peppers,
bottom row; Julie Schelling, June, Susan Nickerson

UN NGO Representatives gathered on Oct. 24, 2019, to “counting the money” directed for nuclear weapons which could be redirected for the UN Sustainable Development Goals listed on the wall.  An end to poverty, hunger and inequality worldwide. That and more is the ambitious agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed upon by 193 countries in September 2015 at the United Nations.









UNESCO - Monterrey, Mexico; Universal Forum of Cultures, 2007        

  • The Ribbon Starting in California . (1985, 16:08 minutes, color)  Video credit: Barbara Hirschfeld; Sonoma Chapter of Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND) and KRCB.org – Channel 22 - Petaluma, California. The early formation of The Ribbon in Santa Rosa, California with the Sonoma Chapter of Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND), an interview with Liz Kenner Uribe; WAND Project Coordinator and with the California State Coordinator Audrey Keller, showing a display of The Ribbon around Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.
  • The Peace Ribbon - 1985,(28:37 minutes, color) Video credit: David Sabbath; WOUB Public Media; Ohio University Communications Center and the Ohio Art Council. Coverage of the dedication ceremony of The Peace Ribbon / The Ribbon at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on August 3, 1985 and the 15 mile display of “The Ribbon” at the U.S. Capital Building, the National Mall and the Pentagon in Virginia, on August 4, 1985.
  • The Ribbon In South Africa. (1987, 50 minutes, color) Documentary video on how black and white mothers used the Ribbon project, creating panels and having Ribbon events in front of government buildings to protest their sons going to war and killing each other in South Africa. A film by Harriet Gavshon, in conjunction with the Co-operation for Development International, Ltd. (CDI).
  • The Ribbon Starts Here. (1988, 45 minutes, color) A historical presentation of "The Ribbon," starting with the founder Justine Merritt's early travels across the United States to gather support for her "Ribbon Project." Coverage includes events in Washington, D.C. and the dedication ceremony of “The Peace Ribbon" / “The Ribbon” at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on August 3, 1985. Included is coverage of the 15 mile route and display of “The Ribbon” at the U.S. Capital Building, the National Mall and the Pentagon in Virginia., on August 4, 1985.

    Footage was taken by numerous individuals and professional video shooters from New York and Washington, D.C. Directed by Academy Award recipient Nigel Noble and produced by Nigel Noble and Hilary Raff Lindsay, Nobel Enterprises. 1988
  • Zap To Peace. (1995, 50 minutes, color) A Ribbon fifteen kilometers (9.3 miles) long made by Arab and Jewish young people, and other children worldwide, to celebrate Peace Day and the United Nations 50 year anniversary. The land and ocean are lined with Ribbons, with the help of divers, panels are carried under water and join Egypt, Israel and Jordan. Segments are contributed by Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Italy, China and elsewhere. Israel Broadcasting Authority; Israel Television produced the video, Zap a youth television show led the campaign for months and televised the event along with news programs. Prime Minister Rabin and Prime Netanyahu are shown participating.
  • Speaking Of Women: With Host Judy Lerner. (2001, 50 minutes, color) Produced by LTV, Wainscott, NY; local cable TV station provides a forum for women to speak on Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy and the war; Ribbons are discussed and displayed. (Ribbons were joined at the UN and WTC Memorial site thereafter for ten years on 9/11 and recited Interfaith Prayer for Peace, see Ribbon website)
  • The Ribbon: A Celebration Of Life; by Lark Books, Staff and Marianne Philbin; Lark Books; Ashville, NC 1985
  • Sew To Speak; The Fabric Art Of Mary Milne; Linda Pershing, University of Press of Mississippi, Jackson, 1995
  • Journey; Justine Merritt; CA Hope Publishing House, 1993
  • The Ribbon Around The Pentagon; Peace By Piecemakers; The U. of TN Press, Knoxville, 1996 (Smithsonian has collection of Ribbon panels for Political History collection, Hiroshima Museum and Oakland Museum)
  • Broderade Bonader; Fran Sekelskifte Till Sekelskifte; Noomi Augstsson; Boken ar tryckt hos Svard & Soner Tryckeri AB; 1999 (Falbyggdens - Embroidery Museum includes entry on Ribbon panels from collection owned by museum)
  • Grandmothers Against the War Joan Wile, Citadel Press, Kensington Publishing Corp., NY 2008 p. 53-54
  • Peace Ribbon Hiroshima: Witness of A-Bomb Survivors; Editor Miyoko Watanabe; first published in Japan by Peace Ribbon, 3-52-18, Koinaka, Nishi-ku, Hiroshima 733, Japan. Printed by Daigaku Printing Co. 809-5, Kamifukawa, Asakita-ku, Hiroshima 739-17, Japan, 1997.
  • The Casebook: NGO Models of Conflict Resolution; Editors Working Group on Conflict Resolution of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, The Executive Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations Associated With the United Nations Department of Public Information, 1993

  • "Fibre Artist Hopes to Wrap Pentagon in Long Embroidered Ribbon That Transforms Ugly Fear Into Concrete Beauty." Fanning, Robbie. The Craft Report Dec. 1983, p.3.
  • "Sew To Speak Is Theme For Ribbon For Peace." Quilters Newsletter Magazine Nov./Dec. 1984, p. 9.
  • "Peace Ribbon Wraps Washington In Largest Collaborative Craft Event In American History." Wilcox, Don. The Craft Report. Oct. 1985, p. 10.
  •  "Works From the Heart: Home Sewers Unite To Tie Up the Pentagon." Levine, Adam Sews News June 1985, p. 33.
  • "After the Ribbon." Fanning, Robbie Threads Magazine Dec. 1985/Jan. 1986, p. 12, 14.

1.  Merritt, Justine, "Sowing Seeds".
2.  Grogan, David and Chandler, David. "A Pentagon Ribbon  for Peace", People Magazine. July 8, 1985 V. 24 (2).
3.  Pershing, Linda, "The Ribbon Around the Pentagon:Peace by Piecemakers". Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1996.           
4.  Wilcox, Don, "Peace Ribbon Wraps Washington In Largest Collaborative Craft Event In American History". The Craft Report. Oct. 1985, p. 10.
5.  Caldicott, Helen,"Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War". Routledge New York 1984, p.21.
6.  Jonathan Schell, "The Spirit of June 12"The Nation, July 2, 2007.
7.  June 12, 1982 - "Nuclear weapons timeline". ICAN
9.  Harvey Klehr, "Far Left of Center: The American Radical Left Today". Transaction Publishers, 1988, p. 150.
10.  "1,400 Anti-nuclear protesters arrested". Miami Herald, June 21, 1983.
11.  Staff and Marianne Philbin, "The Ribbon: A Celebration Of Life". by Lark Books, Ashville, NC 1985  
12.  Kampel, Stewart, "A 'Ribbon' For Peace Unfurled On L.I.". New York Times - N.Y. / Region. March 3, 1985.
13.  Georges, Robert A, "Folkloristics: An Introduction". Indiana University Press, Jan 1, 1995. p. 177
14.  Houser, Jane, "Justine Merritt". Yoga Journal – Nov-Dec 1986 - Page 14 - Google Books Result
15.  Weil, Dorothy, "Peace Packages Around The Pentagon". Cincinnati Magazine. November 1986. p. 155.
16.  Jegen, Carol Frances, "Jesus the Peacemaker". Rowman & Littlefield, Jan 1, 1986, Page 63 - Google Books.
17.  Moore, Willard Burgess, "Circles of Tradition: Folk Arts in Minnesota". Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1989, p. 17.
18.  Rolf, Carol, "Peace panels - The Ribbon project is symbol of love, protection that reaches around the world." Log Cabin, Sunday, May 29, 2005, Conway, Arkansas,
19.  Jordan, Pat, "Three Who Went To Geneva To Be Heard At The Summit." Special to The Inquirer, Philly.com, January 05, 1986, Philadelphia, PA.
20.   "Local Women To Participate In Peace Ribbon Event In D.C." The Sylva Herald & Ruralite - Jul 11, 1985, Sylva, N.C. p. 15.
21.  Jackson, Nancy, "Thousands participate in peaceful, silent plea." Editorials & Comments, The Gadsden Times - Aug 10, 1985, Gadsden, Ala., p. A4.
22.  "Peace Ribbon Project Northwest Ohio." Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
23.  Mohr, Rev. Joseph, "Coalition Seeks Support Of Peacemakers Religion." The Morning Call. July 06, 1985, Allentown, PA.
24.  "St. John Neumann Children Have Role In 'Ribbon for Peace Ceremony'". Cumberland Sunday Times July 28, 1985 - Page 27
25.  Janzen, Victoria, "Kansans and The Peace Ribbon Around the Pentagon in the 1980s". Mennonite Life, Summer 2010, Vol. 64.
26.   Kingson, Jennifer A, "Ring Around the Pentagon: A Nuclear Frieze." The Harvard Crimson. February 8, 1985. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
27.  "Pentagon Ceremony Aug. 4 Peace Ribbons in Oklahoma Called In." Oklahoman - NewsOK. July 20, 1985.
28.  "Peace Ribbon Project Northwest Ohio". Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
29.  Kampel, Stewart, "A 'Ribbon' For Peace Unfurled On L.I." New York Times - N.Y. / Region. March 3, 1985.
30.  Nobel, Nigel and Hilary Raff Lindsay, Nobel Enterprises. 1988  "The Ribbon Starts Here". YouTube video
31.  Steele, R. David, The World Is Comin' to a Start - Peace Ribbon Brings Hope and  and Community. Sequoia. Northern California Ecumenical Council, October 1985 p 3. 
32.  "Biography of Annabel Hartman" (Indiana Historical Society).  
33.  Sequoia. Northern California Ecumenical Council, October 1985 p 3. 
34.  Fanning, Robbie, "Fiber Artist Hopes to Wrap Pentagon in Long Embroidered Ribbon That  Transforms Ugly Fear Into Concrete Beauty". The Craft Report Dec. 1983, p.3
35.  Levine, Adam, "Works From the Heart: Home Sewers Unite To Tie Up the Pentagon". Sews News June 1985,  p. 33.
36.  "Sew To Speak Is Theme For Ribbon For Peace". Quilters Newsletter Magazine. Nov./Dec. 1984, p. 9.

37.  Fanning, Robbie, "After the Ribbon". Threads Magazine. Dec. 1985/Jan. 1986, p. 12, 14.
38.  Rowley, James, "Group Plans To Stretch 'Peace Ribbon' From Pentagon To Capitol Hill." Associated Press. August 2, 1985.
39.  Washington, D.C., United Press International."5-mile Ribbon Binds Anti-nuclear Marchers." Sun Sentinel. August 5, 1985 (Collections–Pentagon).
40.  Gottlieb, Henry, Washington, D.C., Associated Press. "Thousands of Demonstrators Drape 'Peace Ribbon' Around Pentagon." Schenectady Gazette. August 6, 1985 (Front page).

41.  Gemperiein, Joyce, KNT News Service Washington. "Demonstrators tie peace ribbon around pentagon." Lakeland Ledger. August 5, 1985, (Front page - A5).
42.  Gerstenzang, James, "Thousands Tie 'Peace Ribbon' Around Capital." Los Angeles Times. August 5, 1985 (Collections).
43.  Sanders, Steve, "Peace Ribbon’ Tied Around The Capitol". Chicago Tribune. August 05, 1985 (Featured Articles Lincoln Memorial).
44.  Molotsky, Irvin, "Symbolic Ribbon Protests Nuclear Arms." New York Times. August 05, 1985.
45.  Kernan, Michael, "Ribbon Around The Pentagon". The Washington Post. Sep 12, 1984, (Style - The Arts Television Comics B1).
46.  Boscov, Rema, Special to The Washington Post. "Three Years of Peace Work". The Washington Post. Jul 16, 1985, (Style - The Arts Television Comics C7).
47.  Hyer, Marjorie, Washington Post Staff Writer. "Prayers for Peace Interwoven". The Washington Post. Jul 27, 1985, (Style - The Arts Television Religion G10).
48.   "Where to See Ribbon Segments". The Washington Post. Jul 27, 1985, (Style - The Arts Television Religion).
49.  Weil, Martin, Washington Post Staff Writer, "Police Say 15-Mile Peace Ribbon Won't Tie Up D.C. Traffic". The Washington Post. Aug 3, 1985, (STYLE - Metro Weather Obituaries Religion B1).
50.  Pierce, Kenneth M, "This Could Be Ground Zero: Throngs recall the Bomb". "Also In This Issue", Time Magazine - U.S. Edition. August 19, 1985 Vol. 126 No. 7.
51.  Saperstrin, Saundra, "Peace Lovers Have a Banner Day". The Washington Post. August 5, 1985 A1.
52.  Kastor, Elizabeth, "The Dream Weavers". The Washington Post. August 5, 1985 B1.
53.  McGrory, Mary, "Needling Warmakers". The Washington Post. August 4, 1985 B1.
54.  "The Ribbon Newsletter." October 1985, p. 3.
55.  Hill Smith, Kim, "Ribbon of Hope". Dovetail. Vol. 1, No. 4, Fall 1985.
56.  June Thompson Memorial, Lasting Memories, Mountain View Voice
57.  "The Ribbon Embassies Link Up." Peacemeal (Newsletter 13). Nov./Dec. 1986 Wellington, New Zealand.
58.  "NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security". 59.  United Nations letter to Ms. Peppers from Angela Knippenberg, Chief of World Disarmament  Campaign Section Department for Disarmament Affairs. Re: Ribbon Exhibit. Fourth Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (nuclear weapons treaty conference) March 16, 1990.
60.  To correspondents: From: United Nations Press Release News Cover Service. “Art Peace Project” to Honour Under-Secretaries-General For Public Information and Disarmament For Work to Advance United Nations Goals. Note No. 4909; February 6, 1991.
61.  "The Ribbon International - Town Activity".
62.  “Twin Cities United To The World Through Ribbons of Peace.” Twin City Journal-Reporter, Gas City, IN, October 9, 1996, p. 4.
63.  Hevesi, Dennis, "Rabbi Bruce M. Cohen, is dead at age 64; Worked to promote peace". New York Times (Obit), August 8, 2010.
64.  "Zap To Peace". 1995, 50 minutes, color. Israel Broadcasting Authority; Israel Television produced the video, youth television led the campaign and televised the event along with other news programs.
651946 - The Early Days of the U.N. Inspire an International Legacy At Lehman.
66.  Justine Evelyn Merritt - Obituary - Legacy.com
67.  Palmer, Susan, “Activist Who Inspired a Global Peace Project Dies in Eugene at 84.” The Register Guard, Eugene, OR, January 28, 2009.
68.  Kroyer, Frank, Editor. “Presentation of US, Long Island Ribbon panel to Cuban Church.” International Teacher: a Peace Pedagogical Newsletter Since 1982, No. 2, July 2001, p. 30, Lundovj 173, DK – 7840 Hojslev. (ISSN 1396-8530)
69.  Congressional Letters - Thank you letters.
70.  Letters from Congress: To: The Ribbon International, from Michael B. Enzi, US Senator, “Thank you for Ribbon panel… Ribbon will be displayed in support of a year of peace and non-violence, especially for our children,” February 14, 2000. 
71.  Letters from Congress: To: Pauline Cantwell, from: US Senator Russell D. Feingold, “Thank you for the Ribbon, will be displayed in my office…” February 24, 2000.

72. Letters from Congress: To: Michele Peppers, from: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, “Thank you for the beautiful panel…I have it displayed so that visiting constituents to my Oakland office…” March 15, 2000.
73.  Peppers, Michelle, “The Ribbon is an Art Project Promoting Peace.” International Teacher – Post: a Peace Pedigogcal Newsletter Since 1982, No. 2, June 2011, p. 14, Teglgarden 8, DK – 4220 Korsor. (ISSN 1396-8580).

74.  Reynolds, Mary, “Sewing Up the Project.” Today’s News-Herald, Lake Havasu, AZ, v. 35, (189) September 26, 2000, p. 1.
75.  Roshan, Sorosh, Editor et al, “Peace Ribbons at Atomic Bomb Dome.” International Health Awareness Network, Spring 2006, p. 2.
76.  Bussell, Lynne, Editorial Team, Newsletter Committee. "2006 Ribbon Joining at the United Nations WTC". Church Women News, Vol. 1, (3) June 2006, p.8.
77.  "National September 11 Memorial & Museum".
78.  "Building a Just and Sustainable Peace," Hiroshima Peace Conference.
79. State of Oklahoma, 2nd Session of the 52nd Legislature (2010). Senate Resolution No. 111. "A resolution honoring the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing; thanking Church Women United for their commemoration; and directing distribution." The  Church Women United will display their Ribbon of Tangible Hope showing people’s desire for peace.”
80.  September 2014: Climate Summit and Mobilisation, Climate Action Network - USCAN
81.  People's Climate March - The largest climate march in history. (YouTube video) by Democracy Now, Interviews by Amy Goodman. Video Highlights from the 3-hour Democracy Now! Special Broadcast at Historic People's Climate March
82.  International Day of Peace 21 September 2014  UNESCO United Nations Press Release:
83.  Press Release NYC Chapter of Veterans for Peace-Invitation - Media Advisory - Peace Gathering to Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.