The Peace Walkers are resting after a memorable first day Walking for Nuclear Disarmament. Here are two reflections. The first is by Fumiaki “Fumi” Tosu, whose father is a Hibakusha of Hiroshima. Second is a reflection on the day by Susan Crane.
Besides those who began walking today, others will be joining the walk at different times and places along the way. You, too, are welcome to join the walk. Call one of the contact people listed on the Events Page if you can join us.
Every step is a step for Peace.
A Reflection, by Fumiaki “Fumi” Tosu
Nuclear weapons are a vital part of our national security strategy, and protect us from those who commit evil… oh wait, sorry, let me try again…
There are the obvious ways in which nuclear weapons are evil: they are designed to indiscriminately kill millions, they rob us of our brightest scientists and billions of dollars that could be spent on the works of peace (education, housing, feeding the poor) and they contaminate our precious Earth for thousands of years. It also affects citizens of non-nuclear countries, whose governments rob them of the resources they need for education and housing because they feel like they need to develop nuclear weapons to avoid harassment from the nuclear-armed West.
Then there are the more subtle, but equally harmful ways they affect us. They contaminate our imaginations, such that good, ordinary people can no longer imagine the possibility of true peace, but only a pseudo-peace based on threats and coercion. A society that tries to maintain international “peace” through nuclear weapons inevitably tries to establish domestic “peace” through police violence, while families that live in such a society will establish “peace” through domestic violence. Nuclear weapons are simply the most egregious example of an entire violent way of ordering human relationships based on fear and mistrust.
This is why I am so moved by Susan’s witness – she opposes not only nuclear weapons, but the entire system of violence and coercion by which our society is governed, including our courts and criminal justice system. She helps me to imagine a world where love, nonviolence, and vulnerability are the source of our security, not fear, violence, and domination.
A Reflection on the Day, by Susan Crane
It was a beautiful, sunny day as approximately 40 of us gathered for an outdoor mass near the Lockheed-Martin plant in Sunnyvale where they manufacture the Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Invoking the God of Peace while standing in the shadow of the merchants of death was not new to Fr. Louie Vitale who conducted today’s mass.
The City of Sunnyvale was kind enough to send five or six police cars to ensure a peaceful gathering. They must have misinterpreted Fr. Louie’s rap sheet in deciding how many cars to dispatch.
Eric Debode’s rousing music inspired everyone who had come to share this time together.We also remembered Sr. Anne Montgomery who, while our mass was being conducted, was being presented with the Courage of Conscience Award. Anne is quite weak, although she continues to want to hear about our activities.
After mass we walked one block to the Main Gate area of Lockheed Martin, arguably the world’s largest exporter of weapons. We vigiled there with most of the forty of us standing over the blue line.
Over trails, side roads, bike paths, and highways, we walked 11 miles to the St. Joseph the Worker Episcopal Church/Holy Child Episcopal Church/Sunnyhills United Methodist Church. We were invited to share a bountiful and delicious meal with the Filipino community there, who gave not only food but also encouragement for our work abolishing nuclear weapons. It was a wonderful coming together in community.
Jim Haber, of Nevada Desert Experience, kept us walking and amused throughout the walk with his bullhorn patter. Ed Ehmke reflected on the day saying, “The peace walk was a wonderful experience in bringing people together. It brings us together in a special way.”
I give thanks for all who came together today – those who prayed together, walked together, and who provided hospitality to us. We welcome everyone in the name of Peace to join us.
With Gratitude and In Peace,