Last Friday, the 2018 Pacific Northwest Interfaith Peace Walk passed through Corvallis. The annual pilgrimage is intended to advocate for for world peace, as well as an end to nuclear weapons stockpiles – most specifically, those concentrated at the U.S. Naval bases in the Puget Sound. The walk began this year in Eugene on the 25th of July, and will travel all the way to Seattle where it will conclude on August 6.
The Peace Walk is sponsored by many different and disparate groups, including the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order, the Eugene and Tacoma Catholic Worker, the Ground Zero Center for Non-Violent Action for Peace, Lake Forest Park for Peace, American Indian Organization for Change of Canada, Veterans for Peace, Foot Prints for Peace of Australia and others.
Participants in the Corvallis portion of the Peace Walk included both people who had come from Eugene and others who had joined in Corvallis, some of whom would only take part here in town and others who would continue on to Salem and beyond. They ranged in age from the very elderly, right on down to a small child who could barely hold up the banner he was invited to carry.
Last year, the Peace Walk surrounded Sunflower House to pray that it might be preserved. Those prayers were not answered, and when the Peace Walk passes through Corvallis next year, the historic building will be gone. This year they again stopped, but only to say goodbye.
From Corvallis, the Peace Walk’s schedule had it in Salem on July 28, Portland on July 29, Olympia on July 30, Tacoma on July 31 – where it would rest for a day before moving on to Seattle on August 2, Bainbridge Island and Suquamish on August 3, the Ground Zero Center for Non-Violent Action in Poulsbo on August 4 and 5, and again in Seattle and at the Ground Zero Center on August 6.
The Peace Walk ends on the 73rd anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. The occasion will also be marked in Corvallis at Riverfront Park, (1st and Madison), beginning at 7:30 PM. It will include a traditional Japanese tõrõ nagashi (lanterns-on-the-water) ceremony in memory of the dead.
If you’re interested in joining the other walkers, there’s still time. For details, contact Rev. Senji Kanaeda at (206) 780-6739 or (206) 724-7632, or send an email to email@example.com. You can also find information here by visiting http://nipponzan.org/
By John M. Burt