31 October 2011

Thimble 98 - The Dickin Medal


Awarded for Conspicuous gallantry
or devotion to duty
while serving in military conflict.

The PDSA Dickin Medal is recognised as the animals’ Victoria Cross.

It is awarded to animals displaying conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units. The Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 by Maria Dickin, founder of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a British veterinary charity.

The medal was awarded 54 times during the Second World War, to:

32 pigeons
18 dogs
3 horses
and 1 cat

awarded the Dickin Medal in 1945
for locating air raid victims of The Blitz

Some of the more recent recipients:
2000 - Gander, a Newfoundland who saved infantrymen during the Battle of Lye Mun.
Sept 11 - two Guide dogs, Salty and Roselle, who led their blind humans to safety and Search-and -Rescue dog, Apollo.

Image from The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)
of the U.S. State Department and the Museum of the City of New York
of the World Trade Center attacks. Photographer: Joel Meyerowitz.

You can find a full list of all medal recipients here on the PDSA website.

30 October 2011

Thimble 97 - Gaian Prayer


Peace She says to me.
Peace to your soul.
I am the beauty in the leaf.
I am the echo in a baby's laugh.
I am your Mother.
I am the joy in the heart that beats.
I am the free woman.
I am the one who breaks the shackles of oppression.
You are my hands and feet.

Gaian Prayer - Jason Clark


29 October 2011

Thimble 96 - The Unknown Soldier


photo of an unknown soldier.

The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

A young man left his life one day,
To fight a war yet far away,
Fighting to let peace be known,
He thought one day
he would come home...

A service to remember them,
Who came before,
the brave young men,
A cannon booms,
a bugle sounds,
The tomb of those
whose life it crowns.

We remember with
a Tomb of Stone,
For the soldiers still unknown,
All those who fought
and died before,
And those who'll
fight in future wars.

Through many wars,
o'er many years,
Men and women looked
past their fears,
This tomb remembers
all of them,

by Jennifer McKay..

28 October 2011

Thimble 95 - I Wish...

Music, "Free" by the Lighthouse Family,
thoughful video by Roger.

I wish I could share
All the love that's in my heart
Remove all the bars that keep us apart
And I wish you could know how feels to be me
Then you'd see and agree that every man should be free

Say 'em loud say 'em clear
For the whole wide world to hear


27 October 2011

Thimble 94 - If you Want to make Peace


'If you want to make peace with your enemy,

you have to work with your enemy.

Then he becomes your partner.

Nelson Mandela.

26 October 2011

Thimble 93 - Be a Light

Today is the Hindu festival of Diwali. It actually extends over several days, each with it's own stories significance and celebrations.

Regardless of the mythological explanation one prefers, what the festival of lights really stands for today is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple - and some not so simple - joys of life.

Times of India editorial

Diwali day is a time to wish everyone Peace and Prosperity for the new year. A time to celebrate the victory of Good over Evil and Light over Darkness...

'Fill the Heart with the oil of Love.

Place in it the wick of single-pointed mind.
Light it with the Knowledge of Truth
and remove the darkness of Ignorance around you.
Just as one lamp can light many lamps;
let each youth kindle this Light in many hearts.'


25 October 2011

Thimble 92 - One World


I hear a baby crying
A sad sound, a lonely sound
I want to take her in my arms
And then I dry away all her tears

I see a boy, who's frightened
A young boy, with old eyes
I long to say 'You're welcome here,
You can be happy now that you're warm'

We're all a part of one world
We all can share the same dream
And if you just reach out to me
Then you will find deep down inside
I'm just like you

Loud voices raised in anger
Speak harsh words, such cruel words
Why do they speak so selfishly
When we have got so much we can share?

So let your hearts be open
And reach out with all your love
There are no strangers now
They are our brothers now
And we are one

We're all a part of one world
We all can share the same dream
And if you just reach out to me
Then will find deep down inside
I'm just like you

We're all a part of one world
We all can share the same dream
And if you just reach out to me
Then will find deep down inside
I'm just like you


24 October 2011

Thimble 91 - Pax Cultura

This thimble is a Peace Symbol I'd never seen before. It's the Pax Cultura banner, created by Nicholas Roerich - Archeologist, Artist and Spiritual Teacher.

Nicholas Roerich (1874 - 1947) was a Russian who co-founded the Agni Yoga Society with his wife Helena. But he's here on my Thimbles list for creating this lovely Peace banner.

Roerich's dream was this:

Where all the treasures of mankind must be saved, there one should find such a symbol that can open the inmost recesses of all hearts.

It is our duty to create for the young generation traditions of Culture; where there is Culture, there is Peace; there is achievement; there is the right solution for the difficult social problems. Culture is the accumulation of highest Bliss, highest Beauty, highest Knowledge.

From here.
Roerich created a Pact that became the first international act devoted to protecting Arts and cultural values. It was originally signed, at the White House in 1935, by President F. Roosevelt. and 21 Latin American and South American countries.
Wikipedia states that:

In 1954, Roerich’s Pact was laid in the basis for the Hague “International Convention for Protection of Cultural Values in the Event of Armed Conflict”, and suggested by N. Roerich special flag, the Banner of Peace, declaring all treasures of culture and art inviolable objects, until today streams above many cultural and educational institutions all over the world.

You can find out loads more about this truly fascinating man at the Nicholas Roerich Museum website.

23 October 2011

Thimble 90 - In a Violent Age

In a Violent Age

Every time I turn around, I hear more words of war.
When I read the paper, I see the shapes of pain.
When I listen to people on the street, I feel their anxiety
as they talk about what might be or what was,
both years ago and yesterday.

Hope, somebody tells me, is a chimera.
Humanity is a violent animal run amok.
All we can look for is more of the same.

I cannot function, a dear friend cries.
All I can do is feel the children's pain.

Another smiles in silence, makes mental statues
of the way the world could be.
In the bar a woman drowns her fears.
On the parkway, a man makes daisy chains to tell his dreams.

Oh God, it is too hard to bear, we pray.
Oh Mother, take this pain away.

But no. Once opened, my eyes cannot refuse to see.
Unlike the generations gone before, I cannot say I did not know.
I can no longer wash my hands.
For now we know that "they" is "me."
There is only one world, no "them" but only "we."

Oh God, my prayer-of-now, let me not abandon to despair.
Oh Mother, give me strength to do what e'er I can.
Grant that those I touch each day may feel my core of hope,
The stubborn refusal to let destruction win.

Oh God, give me courage to endure this time of trial.
Oh Mother, guide my hands and heart to peace.

22 October 2011

Thimble 89 - Give me Peace on Earth


Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth

Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul


21 October 2011

Thimble 88 - On the Peace Train!

My very first Blogblast globe from 2008, but this time with a very special video.
Please take the time to watch this lovely musical message to the end. :-)


20 October 2011

Thimble 87 - Bahai Universal Peace

"If this warfare and strife be for the sake of religion, it is evident that it violates the spirit and basis of all religion. All the divine Manifestations have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind. They have taught that men should love and mutually help each other in order that they might progress.

Now if this conception of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity. The fundamental truth of the Manifestations is peace. This underlies all religion, all justice. The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another.

Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world."

'Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

the Baha'i "Star of Nine Religions"

The Baha'i movement has no initiation rites, no liturgy, no priesthood and no sacraments.

Baha'i doctrines are radically egalitarian, teaching the complete equality of men and women and the unity of all humanity. They consider themselves to be working towards a world government where extremes of poverty and wealth, along with all forms of persecution, will be eliminated.

from here


18 October 2011

Thimble 85 - Peace Flag


The rainbow striped Peace Flag was created in 1961, in Italy, by the pacifist, Aldo Capitini for a Peace march. It was the "Reason to blog4peace" #58 for Mimi herself. :-)

She told me:
Did you know that in 2003, one million peace flags were hung from windows in Milan in silent protest against the Italians taking part in the Iraq war? It looks like the windows are smiling. What a powerful statement.Iagre!!..
I Agree!

17 October 2011

Thimble 84 - The Glory of War

"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell."

General William Tecumseh Sherman
Union Army
American Civil War (1861–65)


16 October 2011

Thimble 83 - Dominion of Dreams


Deep peace I breathe into you, O weariness, here:
O ache, here!
Deep peace, a soft white dove to You;
Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;
Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!
Deep peace, red wind of the east from you;
Deep peace, grey wind of the west to You;
Deep peace, dark wind of the north from you;
Deep peace, blue wind of the south to you!
Deep peace, pure red of the flame to you;
Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you;
Deep peace, pure green of the grass to you;
Deep peace, pure brown of the earth to you;
Deep peace, pure grey of the dew to you,
Deep peace, pure blue of the sky to you!
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you!
Deep peace of the Yellow Shepherd to you,
Deep peace of the Wandering Shepherdess to you,
Deep peace of the Flock of Stars to you,
Deep peace from the Son of Peace to you,
Deep peace from the heart of Mary to you,
And from Briget of the Mantle
Deep peace, deep peace!
And with the kindness too of the Haughty Father
In the name of the Three who are One,
And by the will of the King of the Elements,
Peace! Peace!

the dominion of dreams : under a dark star

Fiona Macleod

14 October 2011

Thimble 81 - An Unlikely Angel


An incredible story about an ordinary-extraordinary woman..

Irena Sendler (née Krzyżanowska)
15 February 1910 – 12 May 2008
Nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize

The wings of angels
are often found on the backs of the least likely people.

Eric Honeycutt

13 October 2011

Thimble 80 - 1,000 Paper Cranes

In Japan the Crane has always been a symbol of good luck, but one little girl changed it into a symbol of Peace for Japan.

This is her story...

Sadako and the Peace Crane

quoted from bbb.co.uk
'... on the 6 August, 1945, at 8.15am, Japanese Standard Time. An atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. The atomic bomb exploded 564 metres (1,850 feet) above the ground. Nearly all the buildings within 2.4 km (1.5 miles) were flattened. About 80,000 people died instantly from the blast. Another 70,000 died within a year, from injuries and from the fallout of nuclear radiation in the area surrounding the bomb's detonation.

The deaths did not stop there. Around 200,000 people have died because of this bomb alone. Many died because of illnesses brought about from the high levels of nuclear radiation to which they were exposed from living in and around Hiroshima.

One young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki was born in 1943. She was only two years old when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Although she was too young to remember the war, every year she took part in the Peace Celebrations in Hiroshima because her grandmother died during the war. As Sadako grew up, she was strong, courageous and athletic. In 1955, she was preparing for a big race when she became dizzy and fell down. She was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer caused by radiation fallout, the 'atom bomb disease'. She was only 11 years old.

The illness changed Sadako's life. She was unhappy because she could not go to school, go out running or do the activities she had so enjoyed. However, she knew that some people recover from leukaemia so she never gave up hope.

One day her best friend Chizuko came to visit her and she told Sadako a story to cheer her up. The story was about a bird, a crane which was supposed to live for 1,000 years.

In Japan the crane is known as 'the bird of happiness' and is often referred to as 'Honourable Lord Crane'.

...the crane's reputation for long life and prosperity became a symbol of good health, and origami cranes became a popular gift for those who were ill. The story said that anyone who was ill should make 1,000 paper cranes and the gods would grant them a wish.

Sadako hoped that the gods would grant her wish to get well so that she could run again. Her friend, Chizuko showed her how to make a crane using origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, and Sadako set to work.

All her visitors brought brightly coloured pieces of paper for her to make the cranes and Sadako's brother hung the finished ones from the ceiling of her room in the hospital.

Sadly, Sadako only managed to complete 644 paper cranes before dying on the 25 October, 1955, at the age of 12. The remaining 356 cranes were folded by her school friends so that she could be buried with 1,000 paper cranes.

Sadako had not given up, she continued to make paper cranes until she died. Sadako's friends were inspired by her courage and determination. They collected the letters that she had written and published them in a book called Kokeshi. Young people all over Japan were touched by her story and raised money to build a monument to her and all of the children killed by the atom bomb.

In 1958 the memorial was unveiled. It is a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane and is in the Hiroshima Peace Park, in Hiroshima, Japan.

Robert Atendido, took this picture in April of 2003.
It shows the structures that were built to protect the paper cranes from the elements.

The statue is engraved at the bottom with the wish the children made:

This is our cry, This is our prayer, Peace in the world.

Every year on Peace Day people from all over the world fold paper cranes and send them to Sadako's statue in Hiroshima.'

You can find more survivors' stories, and tapes, here at testimony_of_hibakusha.

"I will write 'peace' on your wings and you will fly all over the world"

Sadako Sasaki

12 October 2011

Thimble 79 - Peace Globes 2010

A Selection of Peace Globe Participants
from Blogblast for Peace 2010

...and it just keeps getting bigger!


11 October 2011

Thimble 78 - A Little Town with a Huge Heart

In honour of the people of Wootton Bassett, Queen Elizabeth II has bestowed the word 'Royal' to the town - so it will soon be known as 'Royal Wootton Bassett'. This is the first time for over a hundred years that this honour has been bestowed to any town or village in the UK.

What makes the people of Royal Wootton Bassett so special? Watch Rob Mayall's lovely tribute to his hometown to find out...


10 October 2011

Thimble 77 - The Sisters Buried At Lemnos

My "thimble" for today day is a poem written to honour three Canadian sisters who died in WWI. They represent the often unremembered heroes of war - the nurses and medics.

This poem was written by Vera Mary Brittain, a British writer and feminist who also became a pacifist after her experiences as a V.A.D. nurse. Her fiancé and her only brother were both killed during WWI.

'This item is from The First World War Poetry Digital Archive,
University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit); © [Copyright notice]'

Vera wrote this poem in 1916, after she saw the graves of three Canadian sisters who had died nursing at the camp hospital at Mudros Bay, Lemnos.


O Golden Isle set in the deep blue Ocean,
With purple shadows flitting o'er thy crest,
I kneel to thee in reverent devotion
Of some who on thy bosom lie at rest!

Seldom they enter into song or story;
Poets praise the soldier's might and deeds of War,
But few exalt the Sisters, and the glory
Of women dead beneath a distant star.

No armies threatened in that lonely station,
They fought not fire or steel or ruthless foe,
But heat and hunger, sickness and privation,
And Winter's deathly chill and blinding snow.

Till mortal frailty could endure no longer
Disease's ravages and climate's power,
In body weak, but spirit ever stronger,
Courageously they stayed to meet their hour.

No blazing tribute through the wide world flying,
No rich reward of sacrifice they craved,
The only meed of their victorious dying
Lives in the heart of humble men they saved.

Who when in light the Final Dawn is breaking,
Still faithfull, though the world's regard may cease,
Will honour, splendid in triumphant waking,
The souls of women, lonely here at peace.

O golden Isle with purple shadows falling
Across thy rocky shore and sapphire sea,
I shall not picture these without recalling
The sisters sleeping on the heart of thee!



9 October 2011

Thimble 76 - Tuncas'ila


Tuncas'ila, I ask you
to hear my voice,
my prayers are always
for the future inheritors,
as we struggle to maintain
peace and healing upon our
sacred Grandmother Earth
on their behalf.

Arvol Looking Horse
keeper of the white buffalo calf pipe

8 October 2011

Thimble 75 - Prayer for Yom Kippur

"During the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur everyone gets a chance to put things right with other people before asking God's forgiveness. This period is called The Days of Repentence or Days of Awe.

It's a time when Jews can make up for the wrongs of the past year and make a firm commitment to not do the same bad thing or things again."

Prayer for the World

et the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us

wherever we are broken.

Let it burn away the fog so that

we can see each other clearly.

So that we can see beyond labels,

beyond accents, gender or skin color.

Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.


Rabbi Harold Kushner

6 October 2011

Thimble 73 - The Peace Sign

The "Peace Sign"has a very interesting story behind it. It was designed by an artist named Gerald Holtom, in 1958. He made it for a march in London, against Nuclear Weapon Research. So what is the symbol? It's two letters of the alphabet, in semaphore:




Nuclear Disarmament

Holtom superimposed the two shapes and then tidied them up by putting them in a circle. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) adapted Holtom's designs to make it into a lapel badge.

4 October 2011

Thimble 71 - the Tiger Tragedy

Do you recognise this war memorial? It commemorates the deaths of over 700 servicemen, during WWII - including 441 United States Army and 197 United States Navy personnel.

I'll give you a few hints:

This monument was only made possible by the passionate dedication of a former British policeman who literally stumbled onto the story on a sea shore.
The submerged tank was finally raised from the sea in 1984 and made into a monument, with a plaque, provided by local residents and local authorities.

Here's that plaque...

Both photos courtesy of Wikipedia

Slapton Beach was part of an area of Devon completely evacuated (farms and villages) so that Allied troups could use the area to prepare for D-Day. The code names for this extremely secret battle rehearsal were Exercise Tiger or Operation Tiger.

On April 28 April a flotilla of eight LSTs (landing ship, tank) was busy transporting troops and equipment to Slapton Sands when disaster happened. Being a covert operation led to a breakdown in communications - no-one warned them of the German Torpedo boats in the area. The BBC history archive says:

In the early hours of 28 April 1944, a convoy of eight American landing ship tanks (LSTs) were carrying out a D-Day dress rehearsal off the South Devon coast when they were ambushed by German E-boats.

Two of the LSTs were sunk in the attack off Slapton Sands, killing 749 US servicemen - a higher death toll than at the initial D-Day landings which were to take place on Utah Beach, Normandy, two months later.

Orders of strictest secrecy were imposed. They covered everyone, even the doctors and nurses who treated the survivors. D-Day became a real event, the war ended and the tragedy of Slapton Sands became just one of many.

Then, one day in 1968, a former policeman who had moved to the area was walking on the beach when he started to find fragments of war; buttons and bullets. He started asking questions and was horrified at the story. And even more horrified that while the Americans had raised a monument to honour the people of Slapton, who had given up their homes for the war effort, there was no memorial to the soldiers who had died here.

His name was Kenneth Small and you can read the whole story of his struggles to get a memorial for the Operation Tiger Tragedy, plus photos on the secondworldwar.org.uk website.

3 October 2011

Thimble 70 - In Silence

O' Great Spirit
help me always
to speak the truth quietly,
to listen with an open mind
when others speak,
and to remember the peace
that may be found in silence.

Cherokee Prayer



2 October 2011

Thimble 69 - for Gandhi's Birthday

When I despair,
I remember that all through history
the ways of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall.

Think of it - always.

Mahatma Gandhi

1 October 2011

Thimble 68 - Rabbit Rabbit!

It's considered good luck to wish "Rabbit Rabbit" on the first day of the month. This graphic is my rabbitty Peace wish, for this Chinese Year of the White Rabbit. :-)


Can one everyday person really make a difference and change the world? Isn't that a bit like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble?

Maybe... but what if you got everyone to help you?
What if we bailed with a billion thimbles?

These are my Thimblefuls for Peace... I hope they make you think.