This year PeaceWorks Board member Lu Mountenay planned on her fifth line-crossing during the annual Memorial Day peace witness at the National Security Campus, which she dubbed “The Temple of Doom.” Four times she had been arrested there to foster a world free of nuclear weapons—both for her beloved grandchildren, and for all children everywhere, today and far into the future.
But cancer took her life, ironically on Easter Sunday, April 21. And on Lu’s 70th birthday (May 11), a celebration of her life was held in her home congregation within the Community of Christ—Walnut Gardens in Independence—with an overflow crowd of family, friends, and PeaceWorks colleagues. Four grandchildren shared their memories of Lu, as did friends whose remembrances of her brought both laughter and tears.
“As a protestor,” one said, “Lu knew there were times to not only speak up but to act up for justice and peace. Yet the driving force for her was not protesting against something but standing for something—what others might call a ‘protest,’ she considered a ‘peace witness.’ And that’s how I think of Lu—as a peace witness, a justice witness. Most of all she was concerned about two clear and present dangers that could end life as we know it on Planet Earth—nuclear weapons and global climate collapse.”
Fittingly, as the service ended, Lauren Hall led the assembly in the protest march song beginning, “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around.” At the celebration and at the ensuing Memorial Day witness, the declaration was made that “Lu’s strong spirit lives on, as does the Good Spirit that prompted her dedication to justice and peace!”
—By Jim Hannah of the PeaceWorks Board