Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Longest Walk 3. Discussion »
WASHINGTON - The Longest Walk 3 - Reversing Diabetes entered the nation's capital city on Friday morning by crossing the Memorial Bridge from Arlington National Cemetery.
Long Walkers Arrive in Washington DC
The Long Walkers walked through the streets of Washington with the city filled with summer tourists - some from other countries who have never seen American Indians. Many tourists congregated around the American Indians and other Long Walkers to take pictures.
People walked up to Dennis Banks to have their pictures taken with the leader of the Longest Walk, as he sat next to a teepee at the National Mall with the White House in the background.
After lunch, the Long Walkers walked to and formed a circle in front of the White House. At the circle, they held a water blessing ceremony. Walkers poured water into a wooden bowl from various parts of the United States to represent the unity of people everywhere.
The Long Walkers then made their way to the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of the American Indian for a short visit.
They then went to another part of the National Mall and sat in a circle inside of a teepee that shielded them from the summer rain. Inside the circle, Banks told the Long Walkers talked about the disease of diabetes.
“Diabetes is a killer!,”
said Banks. "I know the word killer is a strong word, but we must use it to let our people know they can fight it. And, we lose some 54,000 limbs to amputation each year as the result of diabetes. Picture a stadium where a Super Bowl is played that holds 54,000 people. That is how many amputations Indians have every year."
Many of the Long Walkers will go to Baltimore over the weekend before they begin their journeys home from various places throughout the United States. Several dozen American Indians attended the National Diabetes Summit held in Leesburg, Virginia and continued on to Washington to join those who have walked across the country since February 14.
posted July 8, 2011 7:30 pm edt
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