The fifth annual Maine Peace Walk began Oct. 11 from the Penobscot Nation on Indian Island and ended Oct. 26 at the Kittery Naval Shipyard with a protest vigil at the village gate.

Participants walked to bring attention to the need to come together and realize that the people must protect the Earth’s environment.

The military, much more concerned about increasing the yield of nuclear weapons, has yet to show that it is aware of its complicity in our environmental crisis. Corporate entities, much more concerned about their bottom line, have also not shown they are aware of their complicity in our environmental crisis.

The walkers come from Maine, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and beyond. One Buddhist nun has walked across the U.S. over eight times. Another walker has carried the Veterans for Peace flag through Europe, Japan and across the United States.

One of the goals this year was to bring the walk to some of Maine’s rural communities. Bruce Gagnon, one of the walk’s organizers, said they were particularly welcomed to make a stop for the night in Norway.

At the Norway Unitarian Universalist Church, Rev. Fayre C. Stephenson addressed the group before dinner, stating, “We Unitarian Universalists join you in your concern about the many different wars being waged on Mother Earth, ranging from overfishing, deforestation and human-caused extinctions to climate disruption and endless war.”

On the Veterans for Peace Maine website, there is a counter. Today it tells me that the current wars have cost us $1,722,523,307,137 (and counting rapidly). When will we learn that war is not the answer? Use those war dollars for environmental purposes.

Sally Breen