14 mile day
We left St. Lucy’s and did a 9 ½ mile walk to the end of Onondaga River where we stopped for lunch.
Onondaga lake was once all Onondaga territory. It is a salt lake, and the people would take salt from the water.
The Onondaga got pushed back and factories and buildings were built near the river.
It is now the most polluted river in the United States.
We had a small water ceremony and then ate a small lunch in the park. At lunch a comment was made to Jun san offhandedly,
“When are we going to take a trip to Japan?”
“I am not comfortable inviting anyone to Japan now.” She replied.
She told the story of a friend of hers who was born in Hiroshima in 1950.
She grew up fairly healthy and got married. She and her partner had a beautiful baby girl.
A few years later she got pregnant again.
She called Jun san to come to the hospital. Jun san was expecting another healthy baby.
This child had a cleft lip and a third eye. It’s nose was deformed and it was born with its heart outside of it’s chest.
“Similar to uranium exposure.” Jun san said.
It is stories like this that we hear constantly on the walk that are not being told to the general public. Stories about radiation damage appearing years later.
We hear these stories and stories of children in Fukushima who are urinating cesium or who have high radiation levels in their thyroids and bones. Children who it has been said are “doomed”.
Children and pregnant mothers whose lives may be cut very short.
It was with these thoughts in mind that we continued on for the last 5 miles this afternoon in over 100 degree weather.
We are resting at the home of Julianne who warmly welcomed us in despite the late notice and her having just returned from an extended trip. She offered us showers and respite and it is here we will spend the rest of tonight.