Washington, D.C., the United States capital, a place where decisions change the face of society. At one time there were no interstate highways, but Eisenhower changed that. At one time, cities blacked out from lack of electric power ... but nuclear energy and large scale dams changed that. Today we suffer from these decisions of our past leaders. Today our cities are smoggy, our waters polluted, and the land is filled with nuclear waste.

You can ask yourself: What do I really need in this life? Our ancestors homesteaded and farmed the land without phones, power, automobiles and the like. Yet, today we can't move down the block without all of that! Maybe it's not that you should give it all up and live like the Amish People. Maybe it's better to conserve and be resourceful. The people of the great depression would use old clothes to make blankets to keep them warm at night. Yet our landfills are filled with broken televisions, old toys, worn clothes and a plethora of package wrappers.

In Washington decisions are made not for the good of the society, rather for the profit of an elite group of individuals, owners of companies and political figure heads. Do you really need to empower these people while your neighbors and you are dying from toxic poisons dumped on vacant lots in your town?

The Walk's stay in Washington covered visiting Senators and Congresspersons to lobby for changes that would improve our environment. These improvements may not be the most profitable, but in the long run they are the best for everyone. Many of us visited the House and witnessed legislation in action, and others of us spent time with national organizations that work for the same goals for which we walked across the United States.

It was only two weeks before the culmination of the Walk. Our journey from Washington to New York was along the most congested roads in the nation. From suburb to suburb, town to town, city to city we stepped through Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, and to our final destination New York City.

There were two closing ceremonies in New York, the first was held at the Statue of Liberty and second at the United Nations building. Both shared our experience during the walk and our personal growth during its time. Many of the walkers would continue their efforts to change the world, while others would return to their lives. Some would start the second phase of the Walk in Europe only a few months later. This phase would complete the journey around the globe - truly a Global Walk for a Livable World.

Myself, I came back to my hometown and began working for a local peace organization. For me I realized that without peace, there was no caring, and without caring humans ignored the mother earth. Peace seemed so very important, so crucial to our long-term survival. I practice what I preached on the walk, although not 100 percent of the time. I walk where others would drive, I reuse or recycle where others would toss and forget. I do the simplest things to help our environment ... the only environment we have. I hope that someday all people will see the world as a place to care for rather than a place to abuse.

Until then I share these thoughts with you, in hopes that you will make any changes needed to improve our environmental state.

Check out Haven McClure's writings on the Global Walk