P is for photographs from the Walk for a Nuclear Free Future

Below are some of the pictures that I took during the Western New York portion of the Walk for a Nuclear Free Future. The people who are doing the complete walk, which is still continuing, began in San Francisco in March 20th. They will arrive in New York City on April 26th. Their goal is to pray and fast near the United Nations’  Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference.

Alex Meade, holding his young daughter, shares poetry in downtown Buffalo, just before the group started to walk.

in Niagara Square, Buffalo

We are heading to the First Niagara Center, which is the home of the Buffalo Sabres. In the past, the Sabres were famous for three awesome players, known as the French Connection: Gil Perreault, Rene Robert, and Rick Martin. This year, the Sabres were known for being the worst team in the National Hockey League. Let’s hope that changes soon.

A cobblestone street in downtown Buffalo.

replica of a lighthouse.

April 11th was a cold, windy day in Buffalo, but the walk does not stop for weather.

Heading past Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna, New York.

A statue of Father Nelson Baker, who is on his way to sainthood. For more information about Father Nelson Baker, take a look at this biography

At a dentist’s office in Hamburg, New York.


At a presentation in Springville, New York, a group of high school students talked about going to the United Nations to give a presentation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

One of the students going to the United Nations. The students are Sierra, Loren, Caleb, and Austin.

A wall hanging made by a young person in Iraq. Exposure to depleted uranium has caused an increase in cancers, such as leukemia, in youth.

Mori came to the walk from Japan. He is from the southern part of Japan, which he describes as very hilly. He says that the most common tree is the cedar tree, and the biggest crop is rice. He found out about the walk because his father is friends with Jun-san, a Buddhist nun who lives in a peace pagoda in Grafton, New York, and who walks many miles for peace.
This is the Cattaraugus Creek. Maria Maybee, a Seneca from the Heron Clan, said that the Cattaraugus Creek was where she grew up. She said that she loves the creek. The nuclear waste that leached into the creek from the West Valley waste disposal site has caused Maria serious health problems, she explained.

Walking to the start of the creek, at Lake Erie.

The group has arrived at the lake and looks out toward the water, still filled with ice after a long, cold winter.

Lake Erie, one of the five great lakes, source of much fresh water.

Maria Maybee is ready for the water ceremony to honor the water. Water is life. We cannot live without it.

Blessing the water with herbs.

On the shores of the Cattaraugus Creek.

Komesta-shoni blesses the water. He told me that he was born in Tokyo and that he now lives in Okinawa. He has been a Buddhist monk for eight years. He said that he likes the simple life of a monk and that he is happy to be able to focus on his faith with fewer distractions.

Sunset Bay, New York, near the intersection of Cattaraugus Creek and Lake Erie.

Cattaraugus Creek.

Here I am, with the banner that I carried on the afternoon of the last day that I walked with the group (April 15th).

The Walk for a Nuclear Free Future!

Karen Banzar, Maria Maybee, Agnes Williams, and a friend, holding staffs. One of the staffs is the water staff. On April 14th and April 15th, the Walk for a Nuclear Free Future and the Water is Life walk (held annually, mainly in the Seneca Nation’s Cattaraugus territory), became one walk.

Sunset… on the walk for me. The group continued on to the Grafton Peace Pagoda and, today, began walking to New York City.

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