Peace walkers mark U.N. 50th year

Peace walkers mark U.N. 50th year

http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/Belleville95.html

Belleville News-Democrat

Belleville, Illinois

Friday, March 3, 1995

Madison County LOCAL

Section B page 1

Color photo, not shown here, captioned:

On the move: Members of the group cross West Main Street as they head toward City Hall in Collinsville.

Peace walkers mark U.N. 50th year

By Christine Markovic
Belleville News-Democrat

Collinsville – The faces of the 10 people walking down Center Street with a banner and drums showed the world’s diversity, but their cause was one of unity.

The Group began their Global Peace Walk ’95 on Jan. 15 at the United Nations building in New York City and are trekking across the country until they reach San Francisco around June 20 to partake in the United Nations’ 50th anniversary.

They brought their march through Collinsville on Thursday and stopped at City Hall to receive a proclamation from Mayor Fred Dalton before heading to St. Louis today.

“I am doing this because I am very frustrated about society and I want a better situation for our future generations, said 24-year-old Sandra Baque, who is from France but is now living in San Francisco. “I feel very honored to be in the walk. The purpose of the U.N. was to create world peace and that has not been respected so far.”

Baque said the group, which has representatives from countries including Japan, Venezuela, Mexico and Germany, has become a family. They also have a puppy, Ohio, that they adopted along their 3,600 mile route.

“The mother was stoned by some gangsters and a man brought (the puppies) to a church we were staying at in Ohio,” said Baque. “Ohio also means ‘good morning’ in Japanese.”

Daniel Torres, 53, of San Jose, Calif., said the group is used to people staring oddly at them, but most change their attitude once they realize their goal. Their appearance, banner and drums draw attention.

“We get different reactions from people, but this is an issue that strikes home in all walks of life,” he said. “We’re hoping to raise people’s conscience and show them people are willing to sacrifice to be heard. When things get rough, we say our prayers and focus on the mission.”

Tim Trunnell, 33, of Collinsville joined the group for two days.

“I joined them outside of Troy for the walk here,” he said. “I would go with them to California if I could, but I have a family and business here. These people have a lot of commitment. You have to have a lot of respect for them.”

Dalton wished the groups members well.

“You are each to be commended for your commitment to your cause. Please carry with you the warmest wishes of the people of Collinsville for a safe and productive journey,” he said as he read the framed proclamation to the group.

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For more information about the Global Peace Walk Project, list of proclamations and letters of support, etc, see:

http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/gpw.html