CLINTON — The threat of thunderstorms and warm weather did not deter participants at the 14th annual Stop The Hate/ Show the Love Peace Walk.
Instead of walking from Clinton Community College to Ashford University, Thursday’s event was modified to circle the block around the community college. Carrying banners and homemade peace posters, a crowd of people made the walk.
CCC President Karen Vickers said the weather was a good reminder that people do not have a lot of control in their lives. She added this walk is a path toward a peaceful and more tolerant community.
“Peace begins with one of us,” said Vickers, adding that everyone’s appearance at the walk is a testament to this.
The peace walk is held each year on the Thursday closest to the U. N. International Day of Peace on Sept. 21. This walk is organized by the Clinton Peace Coalition, which includes members from Clinton Community College, Sisters of St. Francis, YWCA, Ashford University, Prince of Peace Schools and the Unity Center of Clinton.
The event started at CCC, with face painting and story time for children attending the walk. Another table allowed children to create peace-oriented posters. Marion Johnson allowed children to help her release Monarchs raised at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum.
Event Committee Chairwoman Mardell Mommsen said the event continues to grow. She said people come to support peace for a variety of reasons; including the stoppage of wars, decreasing incidents of bullying or a personal struggle.
“But we’re here united and they know they are not alone,” Mommsen said.
Laura Anderson, from the coalition, presented a peace pole to CCC. More than 200,000 poles stand in almost every country across the world as a reminder in promoting peace. Ashford University Dean of Busines and Professional Studies Charles Minnick reminded participants that peace and freedom must walk together.