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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

The Great Peace March

                                                                                 

 

November 15th was the 25th anniversary of an event that shifted the consciousness of the planet. Dubbed The Great Peace March, it began with a hardy and heart-y band of intrepid folks whose intention was to promote nuclear disarmament. Although, a quarter of a century later, there are still missiles pointed like jagged-nailed fingers at each other (you know that image of when you point a finger at someone, there are 3 pointing back at you?), the message continues to ring true. Peace is possible, a small band of devoted people CAN make a difference, love trumps fear.

According the website On-line Archive of California:

“The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament took place in 1986 starting in Los Angeles on March 1 and ending in Washington, D.C. on November 15. It was conceived by David Mixner, a professional organizer and political activist, as a protest calling for a verifiable comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the non-militarization of space, a verifiable global freeze on nuclear weapons, and reduction in nuclear arms. In spite of staggering financial difficulties and administrative problems – Mixner’s ProPeace organization had to declare bankruptcy – the historic cross-country journey continued and 1800 people entered the capital. It concluded with a candle light vigil at the reflection pool and an interfaith benediction led by Rabbi David Saperstein.”- www.oac.cdlib.org
 
I don’t recall who told me about the March, but once I heard, I knew I had to be part of it, at least on a local level and planned to join in the final day in DC as well.  Although I was prepared emotionally, mentally and spiritually for the journey from Philadelphia to West Chester, PA  which was about 22 miles (as the crow flies…wishing I was a crow that day), I was unprepared physically. By the time I arrived there, sopping wet, since it rained that day and even though I had changed my socks several times, my boots had leaked and  my feet were so blistered and painful, it felt as if I was literally walking on bone. Small sacrifice, although I did need to take an additional day off of work, since I literally couldn’t stand. I enjoyed the company of my fellow marchers as we spoke of what peace meant to us, sang songs to inspire us and hugged alot to keep our spirits aglow. It seemed to work.
 
On the 15th, I drove down to DC with my cousin and some friends and the man who the following year would become my husband. I joked that this was our official first date and that once there, a true test of his flexibility and loyalty, was that he guarded the  door as I quickly ducked into the men’s room to pee, since the line to the women’s room was so long and I told him that “my bladder has no gender identity and when you gotta go, you gotta go.”
 
A more poignant test came earlier in the day. Michael was behind the wheel, and we were on the road near Havre de Grace, Maryland, a ways out from the nation’s capital, having left at the crack of dawn to join the marchers. There were blessedly only a few cars at that hour. What we witnessed remains with me clear as day, all of these years later. A car swerved in front of us, did a 360 degree turn, the driver slumping over in her seat, missed us and the other cars, and pulled over, as if steered by unseen hands, to the side of the road. We pulled over behind her and then behind us, a caravan of soldiers from Ft. Meade.  As we jumped out of the car, we saw a decidedly pregnant young woman who was on her way to reserve duty who had fallen asleep at the wheel. One of the men from her company, drove her to the base. Breathing a sigh of relief and a prayer of gratitude, knowing that we were all protected that day (and every day, I now recognize), we got back in the car and headed southward to BE PEACE.
 
After that experience, the rest of the day was a blur (except for the bathroom experience:). I often wonder what happened to that woman and her child and how their lives unfolded. Does she know what a miracle occurred on that day? I do.
 
May the Great Peace March continue in all of our hearts and minds~
 
The Great Peace March
Holly Near / © Hereford Music

Ancient eyes are watching in the night
The stars come out to guide the way
The sun still shines despite the clouds
 And the dawn is dusk is dawn is dusk is day

Farmers rise and dream to feed the world
The world awakes to feed the heart
Hearts beat while a thousand flags are waving
And the farmer sees a dream has played a part

We will have peace, we will because we must
We must because we cherish life
And believe it or not, as daring as it may seem
It is not an empty dream
To walk in a powerful path
Neither the first nor the last great peace march
Life is a great and mighty march
Forever for love and for life on the great peace march

Are you black like night or red like clay
Are you gold like sun or brown like earth
Grey like mist or white like moon
My love for you is the reason for my birth

Peace can start with just one heart
From a small step to leaps and bounds
A walk becomes a race for time
And a brave child calls out from the crowd

www.hollynear.com/peace_march.html

 
  • http://www.healthygreensafe.com LInda Hutchings

    Wonderful stuff you write about. Wish I had known and been there too.

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