March’s goal not to protest war but to celebrate peace | NevadaAppeal.com
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March’s goal not to protest war but to celebrate peace

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Marchers approach the Capitol Sunday afternoon, signaling the end of their two-day journey to promote peace. The marchers carried more than 200 origami cranes with them as a symbol of peace.
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After two days, 30 miles, tired muscles and sore bodies, the 20 people who marched from Reno to Carson City had just one message – peace is an option.

“There is a choice. Peace is possible, and we can believe in it,” said Toni McCormick, event co-organizer, said.

The group held a rally in Reno on Saturday in conjunction with the National Day of Protest. Following the rally, about 15 people began walking from Reno to the capital city. They stopped at Davis Creek Campground on Saturday night before walking to the Capitol on Sunday.

The group presented Assemblywoman Sharon Leslie, D-Reno, with origami peace cranes and sang chants to send peace and love into the world.

“Your cause is righteous, and I know you speak for many of us here in Nevada,” Leslie said. “You have taken action by putting your bodies out on the road.”

The cranes have become the symbol of the Sit for Peace organization, founded by graduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno, last year. The group’s aim is not to protest war but to celebrate peace.

“We really are a pro-peace group. We just want to raise awareness about it,” said Hitomi Mori, event co-organizer, said.

During their journey, marchers said they were surprised by the response they received from passing motorists.

“We feel empowered by the response we got. It was very positive,” Mori said.

The march was inspired by Neil Hendricks, a Reno resident who marched from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. in 1986 in what he called “The Great Peace March.”

Mori said she hopes to follow in Hendricks’ footsteps next year by marching across the country.

The group is planning another event, scheduled for Saturday on the UNR campus, that will be more of a family event. It will include face-painting and a booth to write letters to congressional leaders.

Less than 20 feet from the peace rally, about 10 people held signs and American flags supporting troops stationed overseas. There were several exchanges between motorists and marchers, but both rallies remained peaceful.

“We just want people to know that peace isn’t necessarily the opposite of war. It can exist on its own,” Alexis Amos, event co-organizer, said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.