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Honor tradition of the Olympic truce

January 07, 2014

The Olympic Truce may be under its greatest strain in some time after a pair of apparent terrorist bombings resulted in the loss of more than 30 lives, along with many others wounded, in the Russian city of Volgograd.

The 2014 Winter Olympics are scheduled to open in less than five weeks in the Russian city of Sochi.

The concept of an “Olympic Truce” dates back to the original Olympic Games of ancient Greece, held nearly three millenniums ago. According to tradition, a “laying down of arms” was declared for a period before, during and after the competition, allowing competitors from many nations to participate in and travel to and from the Games in safety.

The Olympic Truce became an official part of the modern Games in 1993, when the United Nations passed a resolution in support of it. Today, the symbol of the truce is a peace dove with the Olympic flame in the background.

The Olympic Truce puts forth the idea that, even if only for a limited period, people of all nationalities are capable of putting down their weapons, putting aside their disagreements, and celebrating together the highest ideals of humanity.

Terrorist acts are never the proper way to advance a cause. Attempting to tie such attacks to the coming Sochi Olympic Games will only win international condemnation.

What is to be cherished — and defended — at this time is the universal aspiration to live in peace and brotherhood, represented by the Olympic Truce.

—Christian Science Monitor

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