Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

They shouldn't be walking alone!

From the Chicago Tribune:
Ashley Casale, 19, and Michael Israel, 18, are walking 3,000 miles from San Francisco to Washington in a trek they once had hoped would rally the nation and lead thousands to join them in their epic March for Peace. But, nearly halfway through their trip, the teens remain alone, wandering the vast landscape of America, where few have paid them any attention.

I just read this story about these 'peace marchers' in Common Dreams (originally in the Chicago Tribune) and could hardly believe that this is the first I've heard about their trek.

Then again... maybe I do. Until the Tribune picked this up, who in our national media would have bothered with two kids walking across the entire country to draw attention to this endless war? Not the commercial media I know.

Is there any reason we can't meet up with these 'Peace Marchers' as they enter our states - even for a day here, or a few hours there - and walk with them?

I'm frankly embarrassed that they are still doing this by themselves, entirely on their own... and mortified that they think nobody cares. The reality is that nobody knew. Now that we know... we could help them turn this into the massive march they envisioned, simply by joining them as they come by.



“It seems like the country is asleep,” said Israel, a rail-thin young man with deep-set blue eyes, walking the roadside on a recent morning, his voice sometimes drowned out by the roar of huge trucks zooming past. “A lot of people we meet are against the war. But it doesn’t seem like many people are doing anything about it.”

I actually wanted to do something like this after Katrina.

I was so angry that I first wanted to walk to Washington D.C.; then to New Orleans. Of course, reality set in (as it often does.) I'm not as young as I once was, and my inner indignation often out-paces my physical strength and stamina these days. Going entirely alone seemed crazy - and likely dangerous. I couldn't find anyone with the time to join me, so I started writing out my frustration instead.

I still think about walking... all the time.

They set off from San Francisco on May 21, carrying 40-pound packs. By the end of the first week, the third marcher dropped out. Another activist told them they would never make it to Washington by their target date, Sept. 11. But they pressed on, crossing into Nevada and making their way across the desert in two weeks. Then on to Utah and Colorado.

Their determination has endeared them to many. After seeing the holes in Casale’s shoes, a man in Sacramento bought her a new pair of sandals. An elderly man in Colorado drove their packs ahead for two days and called his friends who lived along the route to arrange for shelter.

“I read about them in the paper yesterday and thought, ‘Oh my God, we have to help them,’” said Bobbi Benson, 48, of Boulder, who helped drive the packs forward through Colorado. “They just have such courage.”

‘This is the whole point’

After reading this story, it occurred to me that I could walk... for a few hours at least, as they make their way across Indiana. And I know many others - in our state alone - who have for years taken long bus rides across the country to take part in distant, national marches.

We could easily join up with these two walkers as they make their way across Indiana; even if we can only give a day here, or a few hours there. And maybe, just maybe, we could tow some media along.

I'm in. They should hit Indiana sometime in late July, maybe August. And they will be crossing right through the middle of our state. Maybe we can still make their dream of an epic 'Peace March' come true, simply by joining up when and where we can, for as long as we can.

Here is a link to their website: March for Peace, Summer 2007

UPDATE Projected dates of march across Indiana:

INDIANA

Romine Corner, IN
Covington, IN
Layton, IN
Veedersburg, IN (August 4)
Waynetown, IN
Crawfordsville, IN (August 5)
New Ross, IN
Jamestown, IN
Pittsboro, IN
Brownsburg, IN (August 6)
Speedway, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Cumberland, IN
Greenfield, IN (August 7)
Knightstown, IN
Lewisville, IN
Straughn, IN
Dublin, IN
Mount Auburn, IN
Cambridge City, IN (August 8)
Richmond, IN (August 9)
(They must really be walking quickly!)

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