Potluck dinner at St. Mary’s to welcome group on March 6
On Wednesday, March 6, a group of five to 10 people on a peace pilgrimage for a nuclear-free future, led by Japanese Buddhist nun Yasuda Jun, will begin walking from Newburgh in the morning and will arrive in Cold Spring in the late afternoon or early evening. Following their arrival, they will gather at St. Mary’s Parish Hall at 6:30 p.m. for a potluck dinner. A half-hour of music will follow the potluck. All are welcome. Those attending are asked to bring a small dish or beverage to share.
The peace walk, initiated at the Grafton Peace Pagoda in Grafton, N.Y., will begin on Friday, March 1, and end in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 5. Yasuda, the leader of the walk, is a Japanese Buddhist nun of the Nipponzan Myohoji order. The walk is a response to the disaster caused by meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. “We walk together step by step as a testament of our commitment in protecting the natural resources of Mother Earth,” she said. “Let us protect ourselves and our future generations from the reoccurrence of this tragedy in Fukushima.”
Almost two years after the earthquake, radiation measurements in Fukushima are 138 times higher than in Chernobyl, and more than 40 percent of Fukushima children have precancerous thyroid problems. The Japanese government is overwhelmed both financially and technologically in its efforts to safely clean up and dispose of contaminated soil, edifices and water, as well as the irradiated nuclear waste created by the reactors. As a result, Japanese municipalities and families in and around Fukushima Prefecture are left to decontaminate their own towns and homes without either the funding or training to do so; and, yet they have no choice but to get to work.
All are welcome and invited to join the walk as it passes through Cold Spring and to walk as long or as little as is comfortable. Support vehicles are available for those who need a lift back to their cars at any point. Those who wish to support the walkers but prefer not to walk are encouraged to welcome them at St. Mary’s Church at 1 Chestnut St. (at the corner of Routes 9D and 301) on March 6.
Donations to St. Mary’s are encouraged for their hosting of the walkers and can be made directly to the church, on their website (stmaryscoldspring.org) or through the assistance of Roberto Muller. For information or to join or support the walk, call Muller at 845-764-1865 or email [email protected].