Matsuo Machida Walks across America for the Second Time
Matsuo Machida, a 65-year-old Japanese-American, walked across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on June 25, with the words “Rev. Moon is innocent” inscribed on his backpack. Mr. Machida plans to walk the entire width of the United States to bring awareness to the unjust imprisonment in 1984 of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
This is actually the second time that Mr. Machida will make the trip. In 2004, he walked from Twin Peaks in San Francisco to Danbury, Connecticut, the city in which Rev. Moon was imprisoned for 13 months. His walk received national attention, and now 11 years later he has set out on the epic journey once again.
Mr. Machida, who listens to American radio as he walks and talks with curious passersby, said that he feels the Danbury imprisonment is a blight upon the United States. His goal is to simply bring awareness to the situation while also promoting Rev. Moon’s amazing vision for world peace, including such concrete ideas as the International Highway and the Bering Strait Peace Tunnel Project.
He said that most people he meets along the way seem sympathetic. Mile after mile thousands of people see and at least consider his message.
Before his official start, Mr. Machida made a preliminary stop at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas to commemorate its grand opening. He then headed up to Twin Peaks, where he began his walk through California.
Though he is determined to complete the walk by himself, Mr. Machida has support from his guide, Bill Bechtel, who will make the entire trip with him, as well as the prayers and well wishes of like-minded people across the country. He will spend the next few weeks in California and Nevada, and then head on toward Salt Lake City, Utah. We look forward to following Mr. Machida on this trek and stand in solidarity with his message.
Walk the Bridge of Peace for the World: A Message by Mr. Machida
As human beings, regardless of ethnicity, race or nationality, we all long for peace. Even against the backdrop of ceaseless struggle, our most desperate desire is for an end to war and violence. At this very moment, innocent lives are being lost all over the world because of this endless cycle of conflict.
Are we destined to forever be locked in struggle without any hope of lasting peace? I say, “No.” For me, the Olympic Games are an example of the world coming together and an affirmation of our deeply rooted longing for peace.
Despite this longing, in the modern global community we still live separated by human-made boundaries. As Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman once said, “When you’re finally up at the moon looking back on Earth, all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people?” (Newsweek, December 23, 1968)
Suppose for a moment that two soldiers from enemy nations could set down their weapons for a moment, approach each other at the frontline, gaze into each other’s eyes, and shake hands—feeling the warmth in one another’s hand and the beat of their pulse? Might we recognize a common humanity and our sacred connectedness on this same small earth?
The only way for us to overcome the walls of religion, philosophy, politics or ethnicity is through true love, which springs from our connection to God, the ultimate source of love. Our original mind, the part of us that comes from our Creator and desires peace and goodness, must be awakened in ourselves and those around us. Each small step is a victory, if it is in the direction of peace on earth.
Until now, I have committed to walks for peace within a national boundary. Now, convinced that God desires to eliminate all boundaries and create a peaceful one-world family, I shall walk beyond those boundaries from New York to Lisbon, Portugal.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who spent his life working toward world peace, offered a tremendous proposal: an undersea tunnel that would stretch across the Bering Strait from the United States to Russia. It was to be a bridge of peace that would connect not just those two nations but also the entire world.
Inheriting Rev. Moon’s ideal for peace, we will kick off our Hallelujah Walk for Peace at the United Nations headquarters in New York. We will walk across North America and navigate the Bering Strait by a boat called “New Hope.” We will walk through the tundra region and the Mongolian steppe, from Moscow to Lisbon, connecting nations on the Eurasian continent through true love and our desire for peace. This continental path will be called Peace Road, a rainbow bridge symbolizing the very longing of God the Creator.
I hope that the world will find numerous heroes for peace who willingly dedicate their lives for the liberation of God and the salvation of humankind, succeeding the will and spirit of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
Ambassador for Peace