Peace is existence of harmony or lack of conflicts and violence. The concept of peace has developed gradually over the ages just as peace itself has. It is important to note that various species of animals also coexist in peace and always find a way to create it in its absence either through supremacy battles and existence in colonies and troops, each in its designated areas. These troops have their agreed area of jurisdiction, especially for hunting.
Humans stand atop all the species in that they are the most unique and possess the highest reasoning power owing to the large size of their brain. Until the 1960s, human beings were believed to be the most violent species, which could kill other people until it was discovered that primates also kill their fellows. This probably highlights why human beings have been in need of tools and mechanisms that promote peace and coexistence.
Most are familiar with the various wars, some of which are regional, while others have been global. The First and the Second World War as well as the Cold War are probably the most important events that contributed significantly towards the level of international peace that we enjoy today. Until the world wars, there had been numerous conflicts and wars in all parts of the globe, most of which involved countries fighting against each other. In other cases, it involved communities and kingdoms fighting against their neighbors.
The Roman Empire probably epitomizes the art of war and violence that used to exist back in those days. We have all come across an epic movie that depicts the state of affairs and popularity of fighting and blood-shedding that was during the rule of various Caesars in Rome. Most notably, Spartacus highlights how violent and aggressive people were respected and valued during those times. Gladiators were viewed as a property, with the help of which their owners could conquer territories and with little regard to the number of deaths and displacement as well as conversion of people to slaves.
This variety of war events and battles has contributed significantly towards the achievement of local, national and international peace. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all interventions. As many people continued to die during these wars, there was a need to develop tools and mechanisms to create a peaceful coexistence and prevent the continued loss of lives and loved ones. During the Roman Empire, the kings and kingdoms resulted in signing of treaties and agreements demarcating areas of jurisdiction among other terms. Only the violation of these treaties and agreements or any other form of altercation could result in war, which significantly reduced the casualties.
Ultimately, it was the Second World War, which had the most significant contribution towards attainment of peace. For starters, the Second World War saw participation of almost the entire globe, either directly or indirectly. Many nations were either in support of the Allies or the Axis Powers. As such, the war impacted negatively almost on all nations, which called for measures to avert such a horrendous event in future. It was in the background of this war that the United Nations Organization and ultimately the United Nations were formed to champion the upholding of global peace. The setting up of these organizations provided with it the internationally accepted tools of dealing with conflicts to avert violence and loss of lives to its member states.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think, it is worth way more than a thousand words. My reason is that a picture takes you back to the time when it was taken and brings back the memory of not just what appears at it, but also everything that was associated with whatever appears at it. A picture helps to connect the gaps in the vague memories and helps reminisce the good old times. At times, these pictures serve as a very good learning experience to the generations that come later. Pictures are the first hand evidence of an event that happened in the long or recent past, but which can be used in many different ways to shape the current and the future.
Museum is a collection of artifacts and objects of cultural, scientific and artistic importance. A museum incorporates all aspects of a given society by bringing together the key elements that made up a given community. For instance, ideally, a museum will have objects that depict or represent the religious practices of a given society, such as its symbols of worship as well as its gods. In addition, tools of hunting and gathering among other economic growth enhancing methods may also be there. Expectedly, tools of war, such as bows and arrows would be preserved in an ancient museum.
Modern museums are slightly different from the ancient museums in that they have revolutionalized the preservation techniques. Do not be surprised when entering a museum in Europe or in the United States to be presented with bones of the renowned dinosaurs in almost perfect shape, or better yet a manuscript that was written by disciples of Jesus or even more intriguing materials, which were written even before Jesus himself graced the earth. These are the materials, which various writers have been using to create the controversies that surround the life of Jesus, who, as some people believe, is the symbol of love and peace.
However people look at it, museums serve many objectives depending on where people are looking at it from. They are unlikely to come across an informed historical researcher who has not stepped in a national museum once or more during his research to collect evidence. Most importantly, museums are a learning experience for the current and future generations. Do not people create the present based on the platform of the past? Rightfully so, museums have been a key reference point, on which people and nations are able to make progress in the right direction.
Peace museums can be defined as institutions that safeguard the history of peace-making. These museums have a collection of documents that contain historical peace initiatives, which have been taken in the past to prevent violence and evade loss of lives. The concept of peace museums was a noble initiative that was taken to provide a reference point, on which future cases of misunderstanding and violence between groups and governments could be solved. Peace museums also contain evidence of the amount of damage that wars and violence can cause. Most of people have probably heard about the genocide that happened in Rwanda in the early 1990s. A brief history of this incident described the war as pitting the Hutu and Tutsi people. The results were devastating with the loss of millions of people. This event was captured and is contained in museums in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali.
The first peace museum was established by a man called Bloch in 1902 in the city of Lucerne. However, it was not until the early 1990s that saw the popularization of this concept. In September of that year, a small organization that called itself ‘Give Peace a Chance’ convened a conference in Bradford. This conference set the ball rolling on the formation of International Network of Peace Museums. Many other conferences were to be held as a follow-up towards the popularization of peace museums all over the globe.
Nearly every continent has established peace museums. However, these museums are more popularized in the countries that have had many casualties of war. They include the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which was established as a constant reminder of the devastating effects of the atomic bomb that was dropped in Hiroshima, the coastal city of Japan, by the Americans during the Second World War. The impacts of this bomb attack are felt until today because there were far-reaching genetic mutations that emanated from the radiation from that bomb. This museum is open to people from all over the globe who may want to have a glimpse of what war can really become.
Peace museums are in some cases established to celebrate the people who left an indelible mark towards the establishment of peace and peaceful resolution of wars. These are the individuals who have relentlessly and consistently preached the gospel of peace to create a better world for their contemporaries and future generations that will follow them. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and other Peace Laureates, both alive and dead, have been deservedly honored through establishment of peace museums aimed at keeping alive what they stood or stand for. The late Nelson Mandela was honored all over the globe by friends and enemies in equal measure for his relentless service to mankind towards the establishment of peace. He is most remembered for the sacrifices he made for his country towards democracy, freedom and emancipation of black people in South Africa. This was an individual who went beyond color and believed in the peaceful existence of all people regardless of their color or origin. He is an individual whose ethos and objectives, as well as achievements, deserve to be immortalized not only in his native South Africa, but in the whole globe in general.
In Australia, the National Museum of Australia presents efforts that the government has put in place to see the prevalence of peace in the country. This public facility is located in Canberra and preserves key events responsible for shaping the country to the peace-hub it is today. This museum, which was established in 1980, documents important social, political, and cultural events that keep all the people of Australia together and united as a nation. The museum profiles a wide range of artifacts of indigenous heritage, which go back up to fifty thousand years in history. This museum also contains a huge number of original stone tools and bark paintings by the indigenous Aborigines. The National Museum of Australia has made use of up-to-date technology to preserve its items, which have seen it gaining international reputation, especially in outreach programmes for students who are especially enthusiastic about the history of Australia.
In conclusion, peace museums have been a vital instrument of peace and peace-making. These institutions of history serve to show people how far they have come from humanity and show the need to live peacefully and in harmony with each other. The current and future generations are also able to learn how many sacrifices the older generations have made in order for them to enjoy the peaceful coexistence they have today. They should understand and take it upon them as their inherent duty to safeguard the gains that have been made by these selfless generations who graced the earth before them and some of whom lost their lives for this noble course and initiative.