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Moral injury to Mother Earth and all our relations

Pictures and a story tell of the Nevada Desert Experience "Sacred Peace Walk."
Richard Bishop, left, from Montana, and Alan Winson, who hosts Bar Crawl Radio out of New York City, hold the sign for the annual trek during a morning vigil in front of Creech Air Force Base on March 27.—Photos by Bennette Dibben (unless otherwise noted)

By Bennette Dibben

Note: The author shares her reflections and pictures from the annual Nevada Desert Experience “Sacred Peace Walk” during the Christian Holy Week for peace and against nuclear weapons and drone warfare. The 2024 walk was 3/23-29, beginning in Las Vegas; proceeding to Creech Air Force Base, the US center of drone warfare and assassination; and ending on the traditional lands of the Western Shoshone and Paiute peoples at the Nevada National Security Site, the primary testing ground of US nuclear devices from 1951 to 1992 and now the site for “subcritical” nuclear tests and for nuclear bomb research.

A pilgrim starting the walk; “Every step is a prayer.”

At the annual Sacred Peace Walk, participants walk about 60 miles during Holy Week. After my first night sleeping on the ground, I woke up with a sore back. At the Sunrise Ceremony (5:55 AM), led by the Western Shoshone Nation, while joining in dance, my back gave out. Thereafter, I slept in the guest house with two fellow peace walkers. Two days later I went to an emergency room to help me deal with the pain.

The walkers seek peace for all creatures, and a stuffed critter (conversation starter) hitches a ride.

My back “going out” on my spiritual journey took me down a whole new path I wasn’t expecting. I expected to walk the entire 60 miles over seven days, but instead I walked 25 miles over two days. On the desert walk, I’ve been told it’s not unusual for some walkers to have their backs go out. I believe it led me on a spiritual path meant for me. I became vulnerable. It was humbling to ask for help, to receive help, to accept help—as well as take in the love and compassion from total strangers. I don’t regret any of my experiences. I’m planning to return next year.

During the March 24 13-mile City Walk around Las Vegas, Irene, left, and Donna Eyeston from Alameda, CA—both of them part of Nipponzan Myohoji, a Buddhist religious order—bring joy and reverence to the walk. When they pound their drums, they chant Na mu myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo: ALL Life is Sacred. They also sing it—Irene has a calming, beautiful voice.

I’m sharing my experience in hope that you, as a reader, can choose to be either a walker or an on-site supporter during Holy Week in 2025 with the Nevada Desert Experience

I value what was said about Moral Injury at the Nevada Test Site in Mercury, Nevada, this past Good Friday, by fellow peace makers Richard Bishop, from Montana, and Dave Patterson, from San Diego:

Moral injury has affected every living person. It’s not a judgment thing. It’s mostly an acknowledgement and a desire that we want to change it. That we can heal ourselves and each other. — From the live interview by Alan Wilson, from New York City

The stone heart graces the grounds of the Goddess Temple in Indian Springs, NV.

Together we can walk in peacefor peace.

To witness some of the nonviolent actions, look at John Amidon’s YouTube channel:

Bennette Dibben flashes the peace sign during the morning vigil March 27 at Creech Air Force Base.—Photo courtesy of Bennette Dibben

My participation in the Nevada Desert Experience became a personal inward journey across the Mojave Desert. This Sacred Peace Walk, during Holy Week, was the inner spiritual healing I needed to continue walking in PEACE, for PEACE, for all around the world. As peace makers, it is my hope for an ongoing beautiful healing experience. Each of us is part of the peace movement. PEACE starts within.

—Bennette Dibben, an activist for peace and an environmentalist, helps coordinate the annual PeaceWorks KC Local Art Fair. © 2024, Bennette Dibben, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

Sunrise on the desert, on flags of countries that have ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Man hanging origame peace cranes.