Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 24, 1986)
Editor's Note: DN Photo chief
Andrea Hoy was in Washington,
D.C. for the end of the Great
Peace March. This article is
based on her personal interviews
with some of the participants.
It was a long journey, marching 200
days and more than 3,700 miles to
spread t heir message of global nuclear
disarmament. Their message is alive
although the Great Peace March is no
Members of the Great Peace March
had trekked through 1 states in their
nine month journey across the United
States. They began March 1 in Los
Angeles and ended on the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Their journey was over but the voice
of nuclear disarmament was alive in
the estimated 700 who participated.
Their voice spoke loudly two days later
when marchers and protesters blocked
entry to the Department of Energy
building in D.C, calling for an end to
Police arrested 137 demonstrators
who had formed clusters by linking
arms to block doors and driveways
around the building. Employees could
not pass through the wall of protestors,
and had to wait outside. The building
was closed for nearly two hours.
UNL student Lori Shields, Kris
Haygeman and Sheila Stratton, decided
to take off a year from school and join
Miss Shields and Miss Stratton had
thoughts about touring the United
States on foot and by bicycle. When
they heard of the Great Peace March, it
was a good way to achieve that goal,
While on the march, Miss Stratton
said she was inspired by people the
comments she received from people
not on the march. She said one man
said that he could tell a peace marcher
from a mile away because they stand
taller and their stride is strong and
long. She said that made her proud to
march for such a good cause.
"I wasn't involved at all before the
march in the peace movement. I never
thought I could do anything about it,
and now I'm a peace act ivist."
Miss Stratton said that she likes the
change the peace march has made in
"I have a lot more confidence in
myself that I ever did before." She said
she was experiencing a void in her life
prior to the march. "Since I've been on
the march, we've gotten across this
country by faith and by trust on a shoe
She said she has learned that she
doesn't need all the things she used to
think she needed, living out of two milk
crates for nine months. Whenever she
needed something it was always given
to her, she said. There was never a
worry of going without.
It was great to be with such a diver
sified and talented group of people,
Miss Stratton said. She said that her
own awareness of individuals has great ly
improved by talking and living with
such a diversified group of people.
It was also difficult to live with that
many people, she said.
"The only thing that we all agree on
is the bombs need to come down," she
said. Anything else has 600 different
opinions, she said.
Miss Stratton said she was ready for
the march to be over, but it is going to
be very hard for her to go back to the
"real" world after having such a close
sense of community with the marchers.
It was very hard to get out of bed
some mornings, said Miss Stratton,
because of the thought of walking 20
miles in the rain or 100 degree heat .
The stress of moving to a different
camp sight a night was also great, she
Lori Shields said she had precon
ceptions of the "image" of the march to
convey as she was preparing to go to
Los Angeles. She said she cut her hair
and bought khaki shorts.
' "I wanted to look like Miss Prep
hops across America because I want
everyone to know, including people
who voted for Reagan, that radioactive
dust affects everybody, including peo
ple who look well put together."
She said many people stereotyped
the marchers as a bunch of hippies
from the 'GOs because they didn't look
conservative and "well put together."
She said when a person has gone a
week without a shower and battled the
rain and a new camp every day, even
the conservative people don't look
Miss Shields said her awareness of
the issue the marchers were trying to
make was lost sometimes because on
the march, it was an issue just to
"The issue of global nuclear disar
mament didn't really have this daily
overhanging feeling, it was whether or
not I was going to get my tent up before
it started to rain."
She said it wasn't until the marchers
had reached N.Y. and were on the Phil
Donahue show that she realized how
much of an impact the marchers have
had across the country. She said she
knows the marchers touched many
lives and that people will see a big
political turn around in the next five to
Miss Shields said that because there
was so much running around and craz
iness the last few days of the march,
that many of the marchers did not have
a chance to say goodbye to other
marchers. She said there was never a
clean cut end to the march. She com
pared it to a bruise that is going to take
a long time to heal.
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Photos by Andrea Hoy
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