Peace Road 2015 in USA
By FFWPU USA: Diplomats, clergy, former congressmen and well-wishers packed a briefing room at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Thursday, August 6, 2015 to hear about the campaign to raise awareness about the Peace Road, a proposed highway to connect six continents.
The event, followed by a cycling trek to the Korean War Memorial and to the White House, was the final stop of the Peace Road journey in the United States, which had begun in Las Vegas on May 30.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) North America shared with the audience the vision of the Peace Road Project, initiated by Rev. Hak Ja Han Moon three years ago based on Rev. Moon’s vision for world peace. Dr. Kim pointed out that the cycling events in 120 countries was a three-month project that had started with cyclists holding rallies in Santiago, Chile. Following events in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Kodiak, Anchorage, Nome and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City spread the news of the Peace Road on both coasts of the United States.
“Instead of just having meetings in cities, we are bicycling from South America to North Korea and to South Korea; and from Hokaido in Japan to Pusan, South Korea and from South Africa to Paris and then coming to Seoul,” said Dr. Kim. He further explained that the idea of the Peace Road relates to the need for infrastructure to connect nations but is also a symbol of the quest for unity among all peoples.
“Without unity, we cannot bring peace to our community. Without unity within ourselves, we cannot bring peace into our homes, peace into our land, into America and the world,” he said.
“The idea is to recall how we can bring the philosophy of peace and unification based on the teaching of Father and Mother Moon. After this, find out how we can unite into one despite racial differences and different nationalities. Let us have one mind, one heart and one idea that lead to unification of North and South Korea as well as all peoples who are divided, who are struggling and who are depressed because of disunity. We want to spread this idea around the world,” he said.
Dr. Michael Jenkins, the moderator of the event, told the audience of the improvements in undersea tunneling in recent years that make the passage underneath the Bering Strait a goal worth pursuing. Such a tunnel, long championed by Rec. Moon, would make it possible for trucks to drive from the tip of South Africa to the southernmost tip of South America.
The cycling in Washington, D.C. was led by Mr. Pierangelo Beltrami, the winner of a Bronze medal at the Paralympics Games in Seoul in 1988 and of a Silver Medal at the Paralympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. Mr. Beltrami, who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident as a teenager, had taken up bicycling as a hobby in the 1980’s but became a serious competitor in 1988. He explained that he drew strength for the rigorous training regimen from the teachings of Rev. Moon.
“Rev. Moon gave me the power to believe that all obstacles could be overcome,” he said, adding, “All those medals I got were because of Rev. Moon” Al Bryant, the cycling trainer who had helped Beltrami prepare for the Paralympics, stood by him at the ceremony.
According to the custom of the Peace Road rallies, the official Peace Road Flag, which had made its way from Santiago and was carried to Nome, Alaska and to New York City, was transferred to Washington, D.C at the briefing. Beltrami and Bryant then led a group of 15 cyclists which included participants from Columbus, OH, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.
The cyclists stopped at the Korean War Memorial, at the front of the White House and at the Ellipse behind the White House near the Holy Ground consecrated by Rev. Moon on his first national tour of the United States in 1965. At every stop the uniformed cyclists chanted “Peace Road,” to the fascination of some Washington tourists who responded in kind.
Peace Road cycling treks and rallies will continue in Russia and will conclude in South Korea on August 30, 2015, at the third anniversary memorial Rev. Moon ‘s Seonghwa (ascension).