Peace Walk will make a stop in Hingham

The Hingham Journal, March 2, 2006

Hingham, Massachusetts (USA) -- A group of monks, nuns and volunteers who left the Buddhist Peace Pagoda in Leverett on Feb. 19, are heading, on foot, for Boston, to arrive on March 16. They will stop in Hingham on March 15, at 7:30 p.m. to talk about their worldwide mission for peace at a free, public gathering at the Old Ship Parish House, 107 Main St., across the street from the Old Ship Church.

For the fourth year, the walkers, with banners and drums, will pass through Plymouth, Duxbury and Scituate on March 14, and travel from Weymouth to Boston, on March 16. North Adams, Pittsfield, Greenfield, Concord and Gloucester are on their itinerary, as well as Mashpee, Falmouth, Barnstable and Brewster, on the Cape. On March 18, they will participate in a Boston Peace Rally in observance of the third anniversary of Gulf War II, and on March 17, they will walk in, and with, Boston communities affected by a recent rise in violence.

Throughout their walks, they have been joined by members of the public for a few hours, for a day, or for the duration of what they have called "reclaiming the ground of peace." This will be their fourth stop in Hingham. The overall goal of their mission and the program in Hingham is "to find ways to root and nourish the power of peace and equality, locally, nationally and globally," according to information from the Peace Pagoda.

On the agenda this year, is an effort to recruit mayors and selectmen in "A Mayors for Peace" program, begun 20 years ago by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasmaki, Japan, "to join hands in the name of their local constituencies to become a great force for the absolute abolition of nuclear weapons." These mayors, the leaders of the New England Peace Pagoda point out "represent . . . human beings who know nuclear hell in their spirit and in their body."

The Hingham selectmen have been invited to attend and participate in the program, along with church leaders and the general public.

A second effort at the Hingham event will be to gather support for U. S. House Rule 4232, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jim McGovern, D- Worcester. It "calls for the safe and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops in Iraq, consultations with foreign governments and international forces to insure Iraq security and transition to democracy, and contributions of money and equipment to Iraqi security forces."

The Hingham event is co-sponsored by The South Shore Peace Forum and The Old Ship Church Peace Seminar. Sponsors of the walk include The American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts and the Traprock Peace Center of Deerfield.