Samantha Smith’s Inspiration

Dot Walsh gave a speech at the A-bomb Dome in Hiroshima for the closing ceremony of Stonewalk Japan 2005 on August 4, 2005.
Stonewalk Japan 2005:

President Vladimir Putin: 4 Staraya Square, Moscow 103132

President Joseph Biden: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C. 20500

Dot Walsh, Peace Chaplain/

I am writing this letter to offer an alternative plan to end the violence in Ukraine. 

I have studied, practiced, and educated people about violence and the alternatives of non-violence throughout my lifetime.  Human nature teaches that a person pushed into a corner usually comes out fighting.  This is exactly what is happening with President Vladimir Putin.  He has no way to get out of his war respectfully, so he continues the war with chaos, and the threat of nuclear war.

I suggest we revisit what Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old girl from Maine, did in 1982.  Samantha wrote a letter to the Soviet leader, Yuri Andropov, asking him for peace not war. 

She was invited to the Soviet Union and made friends with many young people who remained her friends.

“Journey to the Soviet Union” is the book that describes how Samantha’s initial small step led to a greater understanding between people in the United States and Russia. Although Samantha Smith’s life was cut short at age 13 due to an airplane accident with her father, her example and words live on:

“Sometimes I still worry that the next day will be the last day of the earth.  But with more people thinking about problems of the world, I hope that someday soon we will find the way to world peace.  Maybe someone will show us the way.” (Samantha Smith)

The world is facing a similar situation with the war in Ukraine and needs Samantha Smith’s inspiration. CBS is planning a podcast show featuring Samantha ’s extraordinary life and her journey to the Soviet Union.

What if all young children wrote letters to President Putin asking for peace?  This might offer him a way out of the war he has created. 

What if a massive social media campaign were started?  If the world saw, and got behind this plea, it might make a difference.

Our children, the children of the world, are the future. They deserve and need us to help them believe there will be a future. Taking action has the potential to create great change.  Today I encourage all children to follow Samantha by answering the call and changing the future by requesting President Putin to stop the war.

“Perhaps we should stop asking children “Why don’t you act like a grown-up” and begin asking adults “Why don’t you think like a child” Dr. Lee Salk

If this has meaning for you, I ask you to join “Children’s Project for Peace” and write to President Putin and President Biden.

In Peace, Dot Walsh/