Taking big steps for world peace

INDIANOLA — Much like Martin Luther King Junior’s dream for civil rights and a non-violent world, people of various races, creeds and ages are still trying to make his dream a reality.

Including a local 13-year-old.

Samuel Weinstock, an eighth grade student at West Sound Academy in Suquamish, is taking steps toward this resolve by organizing a peace walk this Sunday, Jan. 19.

Samuel, the son of Judith and David Weinstock, was inspired to spread the message of peace after participating in a walk with a group in the Hiroshima Flame Interfaith Pilgrimage in January 2002. The five-month journey started at Chief Seattle’s Grave in Suquamish and ended in New York City.

Weinstock’s original intention of walking for two days turned into two weeks during that event.

“That was just something I wanted to do that inspired me in a lot of ways and for school this year, I decided to do a project on non-violence,” he explained. “I decided I really liked the peace walk.”

Weinstock, who has been participating in non-violent activities with his parents his entire life, started creating interest in his own event by circulating fliers and spreading the idea by word of mouth.

Participants will meet at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the Old Kingston Hotel and the walk will start at 9 a.m. The final destination is the Winslow Green on Bainbridge Island.

“I thought (the Old Kingston Hotel) would be a wonderful place to start,” he said, noting his family used to own the hotel.

The group will travel through Suquamish, stop for a light lunch, cross the Agate Pass Bridge to Bainbridge and then take Highway 305 to Winslow.

“It should take all day,” he said. “It’s 17 miles exactly.”

For Weinstock, that’s nothing.

During his time with the inter-continental peace walkers, participants were covering 20 miles a day — typically starting at 7 a.m. and hiking until 6:30 p.m.

To make sure all goes well, “sagwagons” will be located every three miles along the route, in case of emergencies.

Weinstock said he hopes the walkers find the value in spreading the message about peace through the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.

“As far as non-violent protesting goes, there is no better way,” he said. “When you are walking, you are really just connecting with the ground. Every step counts. It’s just a wonderful way to go.”

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