A Call To Peace

August 4, 2011

Fumi Johns-Stewart of the World Peace Prayer Society has generously offered to provide transportation from Woodstock to Amenia & back, to attendees of this year’s Woodstock International Walk for World Peace, to the World Peace Prayer Society’s “A Call To Peace”, on September 25th, 2011. We will have sign-up sheets on site, and invite you to attend.

We thank the World Peace Prayer Society for their generosity, and for their participation in all of our Walks for Peace, and for all the Peace Poles they plant—I’ve counted three in Woodstock; one at Family, one at Comeau Field, and the Peace Pole on the village green.

But it isn’t just their material generosity we have to be thankful for, but their generosity of spirit, as well. Just the idea of “May Peace Prevail On Earth” may be more valuable to humanity than we know, and we are thankful that Masahisa Goi started this valuable work in 1955, and pray that the seeds of his idea continue to grow fruit.


Third annual Woodstock Walk

July 8, 2011

This year’s Woodstock International Walk for World Peace is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 6, 2011. We will meet at the parking lot at the intersection of routes 375 and 212 in Woodstock, NY, where the flags of every country will be handed out for our procession through town to Comeau Field, where the World Peace Prayer Society will once again hold the Flag Ceremony.

We hold this walk each year to reaffirm our commitment to peace. The walk is always held on the weekend closest to the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, to recognize that we never again wish to see nuclear weapons used. We hold that all life is sacred, and that there is no such thing as a “just” war. The only way to peace is through peace, and we support the peaceful resolution of all disputes. This year’s walk happens to fall on the actual date of the bombing, and we will say a prayer for the casualties of this horrific event.

Our founder, John Nelson, is in Hiroshima, setting up events there for Live Peace International, a worldwide event where concerts for peace will be streamed live from venues throughout the world. More info is available on YouTube, and I’m awaiting more details from John; as soon as they are made available I will post them here.

The same goes for events at the third annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace; as performers and speakers are confirmed, we will post them here. The Parrots for Peace will once again be on hand, too. We look forward to seeing you all there! Peace and Love!


Thanks!

August 13, 2010

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I hope you enjoy the slide show above (all photos © 2010 Cameron Williams or © 2010 Doug Potoksky, all rights reserved); this is the first opportunity I’ve had since Sunday’s second annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace to say thank you to all of you who helped make our event a success.

First, thanks to the legendary Pete Seeger, to whom the Woodstock Council awarded the first “Noble Peace Prize”.

Pete Seeger’s "Noble Peace Prize”

Thanks also to Joyce Beymer, and all the wonderful folks at the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and the Arts, Woodstock Town Supervisor Jeff Moran, Woodstock Police Chief Clayton Keefe and the Woodstock Police Department, Terrie Rosenblum, Cathy Magarelli, Bill McKenna, Jay Wenk, Angela Sweet, Jacquelyn A. Earley, Michael Reynolds, Paul Andreassen, Ray Brundage, who was so helpful in setting up Comeau Field, Adam Slagsvol and all the other folks at American Printing, Michael and Ziedel Epstein at Hurley Ridge Market, Nick Altomare, Mark McDunna, Fumi Stewart and The World Peace Prayer Society, Gloria Waslyn and The Parrots for Peace, Victorio Roland Mousaa, Princess WOW!, founder of The Smile Revolution, Mary Poppiins, Caitlin O’Heaney, Hank Woji, Luke Hunzberger, Norman (who played and sang, and whose last name I don’t know), Mighty Xee, Christina Valentine and Monica, Tinya Seeger, Phil Sauers, Sonia Malkine, who repeated her moving rendition of Pete’s song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”; Greg Reitman and Britta Peterson of Blue Water Entertainment, who are filming Rooted in Peace, Russell Richardson of the INDIE project, and Marie Uridia, also of INDIE, who filmed our walk; Carol Johnson, Catskill Mountain Plumbing & Heating, Vivo Gallery, and Cucina restaurant; David and Fiona Saxman of The White Gryphon, Catskill Mountain Pizza, Reverend Josh Bode of the Dutch Reformed Church (congratulations!), Bill McKnight and Melinda Terpening McKnight, Doug Potoksky; the inimitable Father Jack Nelson, without whom this would not be possible; Elaine Maggiore, B. Vos, Michele Elyse Flanders, Bob Place, Tony Angel, Pierre and Terry LeRoy of the Haitian People’s Support Project, and anyone else whose name I may have omitted. Special thanks also to Ronnye Jai and Alan Shapiro, who serve as inspiration to us all. Peace! —CW


Peace on Earth

July 28, 2010

John McConnell's Earth Flag

We all have reason to celebrate this year and join the Woodstock Walk for Peace! Peace can be at hand if we all give a hand to help make peace. With our voices, our words, and our deeds, we can all help bring peace to our beautiful planet. Please join all of us on August 8, 2010 at 8am to once again Walk for Peace and participate in a World Peace Prayer and a day of music, art, and celebration for all of the Earth!

Hope to see all the smiling faces there again this year!

Peace, Love, and Kindness for you all,
Bill McKnight wm_media@yahoo.com


Latest flyer

July 27, 2010

This will go up around town on Thursday.


2nd Annual Woodstock Walk for Peace—Save the date!

July 18, 2010

Hello, everyone! After the wonderful walk we had last year, we feel that it’s once again time to hold a Woodstock Walk for Peace, to affirm our message of peace and love. All are welcome and invited to participate, and the date is tentatively set for August 8, 2010—once again, the Sunday nearest the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, sixty-five years ago.  Living peace icon, Pete Seeger, whose song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, a spontaneous anthem of the annual tradition of the Woodstock Walk for Peace, has agreed to participate in this year’s event.  Pete will be giving an 8:00 a.m. interview for WDST, Woodstock radio from his home in Beacon and be with us from 10 a.m. to 11:30 before he performs at the Bearsville Theater at 1 (doors open at noon) with a benefit concert for Clearwater (cleaning up the Hudson River and environmental education and activism) and The Smile Revolution, a campaign to ignite the power of a smile to begin peace in one’s heart and radiate to those who are touched by this simple act. Following the concert, Pete will be signing his newly published book, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone”, an anthology of popular folk songs.  Pete wished to be at the first annual walk, last year, but had a previous concert commitment. Toshi Seeger, Pete’s life-time love and partner in marriage, comes from Woodstock originally, Pete is always glad to announce, as Woodstock is an extension of home for the Seeger family.

We are now beginning the process of seeking approvals from the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and the town board—we will

Pete Seeger. ©2010 Cameron Williams

make announcements here, and expect to begin distributing flyers around town this week. With the enthusiasm generated from last year’s walk and the buzz around making it happen on a continuing basis, the grass roots organizing has now begun. Jack Nelson will participate, along with local talent for peace, social justice, music, and joy.

“May Peace Prevail on Earth” is our theme.  With the World Peace Prayer Society’s donation of the Peace Pole in the Village Green and the flag ceremony, a uniting pageantry of flags representing each nation and indigenous region of the world last year, we call upon the ideal of peace to end the unfortunate and continuing strife around the world, from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to Palestine, and more; our voices need to be heard more now than ever. Join with us in the spirit of peace and brotherhood, and let the world know that the spirit of peace lives in Woodstock, and around the world in sister cities of the Woodstock Nation.


Vernal Equinox (Spring is here!)

March 21, 2010

The ecliptic path at vernal equinox

Yesterday, at 1:32 p.m., spring arrived in the northern hemisphere, and fall began in the southern. The vernal (spring) equinox marks the time each year when daylight and darkness are exactly equal (in the northern hemisphere; this date marks the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere.

I was privileged to attend the United Nations Earth Day ceremony and the ringing of the peace bell in the rose garden, where I heard the wonderful Tarumi Violinists, directed by Yukako Tarumi, and many interesting speakers on the environment. Among the speakers were Helen Garland, chairperson of the Earth Society Foundation, co-founded with John McConnell and supported by noted anthropologist Margaret Mead; Simon Reeves from New Zealand; Vahan Galoumian, Project Coordinator of UNESCO‘s liason office in New York, and Andres Gomez of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural History at the American Museum of Natural History.

John McConnell's Earth Flag

We are losing habitat and biodiversity at an alarming rate; 40% of the Amazon rainforest will be lost by 2030 if deforestation continues at present rates; soil and fisheries depletion are accelerating, and 30,000 people per day are dying from lack of access to clean water. These are severe problems that need solutions, and I thank all of yesterday’s speakers for their dedication to these issues.

Yet too often, the multinational corporations and the men and women who run them are portrayed as arch-villains; I find this disturbing for many reasons, chief among them that these men and women are people just like you and me, and no man or woman is my enemy. For better or for worse, these corporations are here to stay, and we need to enlist them as partners to move forward; the way to peace can only be through peace. As Jurrian Kamp, editor-in-chief of Ode magazine states in his article We need to end climate anger: “…environmentalists… need to embrace all the people they fear stand in the way of the progress the planet needs: the politicians and industrial leaders.”

To be sure, corporations must practice corporate responsibility and become good planetary citizens, and their track record on this has been dismal, yet demonizing these corporations and the men and women who run them is the most ineffective means at our disposal of enlisting their cooperation—and we need their cooperation and access to their vast resources if we are to find solutions to the problems we face. We are all in this together.

The above views are my own, and do not necessarily represent the Woodstock Council for World Peace.