Precisely at noon Sunday, bells began ringing at Chapman College’s chapel and throughout Orange County as part of a worldwide Mother’s Day peace rally, which concluded locally with a march by about 150 people to Old Towne Circle in Orange.
The Children’s Peace Bell Rally was part of a continuous tolling around the globe during the noon hour. At least one person in each time zone acted as official bell ringer. For the Pacific Daylight Time zone, Michelle McFadden of Orange County was the ringer, while in Central Europe, Pope John Paul II took up the task.
After a chapel service featuring the Disneyland song “It’s a Small World,” a Peace Bell Treaty was read in English, Russian, French and Spanish, calling on governments to make peace with one another and eliminate nuclear weapons.
Outside the chapel, hand-painted, hand-sewn banners were joined together to form a ribbon, which will become part of a much longer “peace ribbon” to be tied around the Pentagon in August, 40 years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
Representatives of the Jewish, Protestant and Catholic faiths, joined by former congressional candidate Mary Lou Brophy, urged participants not to give up their quest for peace.
The event was sponsored by the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament and locally by the Orange County Alliance for Survival.
Mother’s Day, it was noted, was originally conceived as a day of peace. One mother at the rally, Jeanette Norton of Irvine, said the Children’s Peace Bell Rally was a substantial part of “the best Mother’s Day I’ve ever had.”