Friday, March 24, 1995
March for peace makes local stop
Homage to former president
by Frank Haight Jr.
The United Nations 50th Anniversary Global Peace Walk left Independence early Thursday afternoon with a gift from the Harry S. Truman Library and a proclamation of support and welcome from Mayor Ron Stewart.
Truman Library officials gave the marchers copies of President Truman's global peace messages, which the marchers will carry to San Francisco for the United Nations 50th anniversary celebration on June 26.
The more than two dozen walkers left New York City for San Francisco on January 15 for the purpose of 'bringing out Global Peace Now!' as a slogan, as a prayer for the future generations by people of all faiths and as a public mandate to the United Nations," said David Williams of Santa Barbara, Calif., one of the march coordinators.
Arriving in Independence Wednesday afternoon from Warrenton, Mo., the marchers participated in a circle-of-hands ceremony for global peace in front of City Hall. There they were joined by Mayor Stewart, who presented them with a proclamation from the city.
As the group walks across the nation promoting its slogan, "Global Peace Now!," letters of support from public officials and religious leaders are being collected to deliver at the UN celebration in San Francisco.
"We have received dozens of letters of support," said Williams, including one from Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan and St. Louis Mayor Freeman R. Bosley Jr.
After leaving City Hall, marchers proceeded to the Truman Library, where they met with library officials and offered a prayer at the gravesite of the nation's 33rd president.
Among those assisting the marchers in Independence were the Rev. Paul Bond, president of the Independence Ministerial Alliance and pastor of Northern Boulevard United Methodist Church, and Anna Berger of Independence.
Bond allowed the marchers to spend the night in his church and Berger, a great-grandmother, helped coordinate their activities in Independence. She also joined them in their walk here.
Highlighting the six-month walk, Williams said, will be a three-day fast and vigil next week in Leavenworth, Kan., for Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier will also be fasting inside the Leavenworth Penitentiary, where he is incarcerated.
"The purpose is for people to understand Peltier as a spiritual leader, and not [only] Amnesty International's No.1 prisoner of conscience," Williams said.
Creating a "spiritually United Nations" is another goal of the Global Peace Walk, said Williams.
To accomplish this goal, the peace walk plans a four-day spiritual unity gathering in San Jose, Calif., on June 14, for the purpose of gathering at least 100,000 people to walk to San Francisco.
There are numerous Global Peace Walks going on now in many countries around the world Williams said, "bringing together all the sacred colors of all people of the Earth to celebrate Global Peace Now!"
The marchers will spend 3-1/2 days in Kansas City before leaving Tuesday for Leavenworth and then Lawrence.
Thus far, the march has been peaceful and without opposition.
"We haven't met anyone who is against global peace," Williams said, adding, "People are very happy to receive the Global Peace March."
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Selected proclamations, letters, and messages of support for the Global Peace Walk are posted at/from:
At the gravesite ceremony mentioned above was read the Longest Walk speech of Nichidatsu Fujii which mentions President Truman's grave:
The Longest Walk Speech of Mahatma Gandhi's "Fujii Guruji" Excerpt -- "We are about to bury the era of warfare, the era of violence, the era of murder and destruction...The civilization of the new era, the era of perpetual peace, will be the spiritual civilization...The religious faith that the Native Americans have carried down to this day will be the fountainhead (source) for creating lasting peace in the future."