We sent this letter to President Obama today:
22 July 2009
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are holding an international walk for peace with the UN-affiliated World Peace Prayer Society on August 8th and 9th of this year in Woodstock, NY, and we are encouraging others to walk with us in solidarity in towns and cities throughout the US and around the world.
We are not protesting against anything; we are walking for peace, and we believe in strict neutrality. We promote constructive dialogue and non-violent action around the world in the profound hope that we may achieve worldwide peace in our time, and for future generations. We offer our full support to you in your efforts to end suffering, hunger, disease, and strife; and in promoting nuclear disarmament, education, health care, and general well being for all people.
We are not so naïve as to believe that all conflicts can be instantly ended; we understand that the underlying political and economic realities are complex; that persistence and dogged determination are required.
We are sure that you are aware that August 6 is Universal Peace Day; it will be the 64th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, and August 9 of Nagasaki; that’s why we have chosen the weekend of the 8th and 9th to hold our walk for peace; we wish for mankind to never again witness the horror of nuclear devastation. We hope that you choose to accept the invitation the citizens of Hiroshima have extended to you to speak to them on August 6th.
We humbly request that you order a temporary suspension of all offensive actions by our military forces on these two days, and further request that you ask the leaders of all countries to likewise stand down on August 8 and 9; both as a memorial to the dead of all wars, and as a statement of our human commonality: we can all agree that no matter what our differences may be, our goals are never well served by violence. Just think what a wonderful respite this would be for the mothers and fathers of our men and women who serve; for two days they would not have to worry that the next telephone call would be the one they dread.
We further request that you speak to the nation, and the world, about our commonality, our shared ideals, and the need for peace; points you’ve touched upon in your historic speeches in Cairo, and, more recently, in Ghana. Hiroshima would be the ideal venue for this address, and we again urge you to accept their invitation.
We also ask that Ambassador Susan Rice, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, introduce the request for a temporary worldwide moratorium on offensive actions as a United Nations resolution.
Such an action is not without precedent; the Christmas Truce of December 24, 1914 instantly comes to mind.
Mr. President, please find it in your heart to do this, and ignore the detractors who will call this a sign of weakness; it is nothing of the sort, but rather a sign of strength and courage.