by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
On the Spring Equinox, at the exact moment when the northern and southern hemispheres of the Earth are balanced, bells are rung across the globe. Many over look it, but thousands remember.
The original Earth Day has been celebrated in this way since 1970, when first established by the Earth Society. The mission was, “Peace, Justice, and Care of the Earth.”
Many ideas blossom momentarily and then die because they are not nurtured. The woman who has kept the mission of Earth Day alive over the last decades overcame astonishing difficulties to accomplish this goal.
Helen Garland accepts the difficulties as a price worth paying in service to her ideals, expressed in the mission statement.
Helen's life as a volunteer began after World War II, when she graduated from Sarah Lawrence. Excited by the founding of the United Nations, she began work as a volunteer in New York, striving to bring the power of cooperative effort to people in diverse nations around the world so they could solve the problems confronting them.
Helen, today admits she was far too trusting, as were many of her contemporaries.
As CEO of the Earth Society, the second oldest NGO of the United Nations, she realizes, sadly, the U.N. has long since been co-opted by corporate interests.
The take over began almost as soon as the U.N. was founded, and to her surprise, three men, Maurice Strong, George H. W. Bush, and Robert O. Anderson, in charge of the take-over, placed enormous focus on her.
Moved by what she saw happening environmentally, she began began working in the Kennedy White House in 1962 as a volunteer to ensure Americans had clean water and air. A group came together with this shared goal. Buckminster Fuller, originator of the geodesic dome, Patrick Horsbaugh, originator of Environics, Margaret Mead, and others, now legendary, believed in our mutual stewardship of the Earth. Their dedication continued past the Kennedy assassination, gaining a growing consensus among all Americans, only later politicized.
After the first Earth Day took place in 1970 a group headed by Dennis Hayes, armed with six million dollars provided by oil companies, stole the name, 'Earth Day,' and began lavish publicity to offset the original. The April event kept control in the hands of big oil.
Peace, Justice, Care of the Earth, remains the goal.
When you understand, the power is, again, your own.