Ligonier, PA-Latrobe, PA, 9.2 miles

Five years ago tomorrow my father-in-law died after after bravely battling repeated strokes that robbed him of his mobility but not of his humor and wit. I did not have the good fortune of spending much time with Martin before he became ill, but I always admired his colorful nature and his  spirited defense of the working man. Many will speak loudly of the causes they hold dear. Martin was one of the brave few who took action to right the wrongs of this world. As I walk I wear for good luck a small pin that once belonged to Martin. I hope that he would think it fitting for my journey.

After his death my husband noted that his father’s “illness never robbed him of the power of his wit, and the ability to speak as he always had done for a United Ireland, against racism, war, U.S. Imperialism and the betrayals of “New Labour.” His passing will not silence a voice of passionate protest.”

I am walking for many reasons: to draw attention to the millions living in poverty in this country; the growing problem of homelessness; and to inspire people to stand up to injustice. And it is my hope that I am somehow making Martin proud.

– by Jennifer E. Cooper