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Day 3- Nick Kimbrell Marches for Peace Past Grey Ghost's Land


In weary exuberance, Nick announced that he walked 28 miles on this, his third day of his march for peace. He reached Warrenton, the county seat of Fauquier County, about 44 miles from his destination – the White House.

Warrenton is the home of the "Grey Ghost," John Singleton Mosby, a Confederate guerilla fighter who stealthily executed attacks on Union enclaves and then, seemingly, simply disappeared – like a ghost. A man of slight stature, lacking intimidating physical strength, the Grey Ghost used cunning and precision execution to defeat his northern adversaries. "During the Civil War, Colonel Mosby and his small band of partisans outwitted and outfought the Union Army to the extent that the region from the Potomac to the Shenandoah Valley became known as 'Mosby's Confederacy.'" Like Nick, Mosby attended the University of Virginia, where he studied Latin, Greek and literature.

The state troopers continue to keep a watchful eye on Nick's progress, as an increasing number of Rolling Thunder motorcyclists hurriedly breeze by sporting POW/MIA and US flags enroute to their 20th annual memorial commemoration at the Pentagon. "Lots signal support; some don't," Nick said.

He was keyed up last night, too keyed up to fall asleep easily. The combination of the physical exertion with its stimulating release of endorphins, and the depth of his thoughts, mingling the "political, psychological, and metaphysical" kept him awake. He mused about one motorist who stopped to chat. His vehicle sported a montage of bumper stickers; one stood out to Nick: "Walk Your Talk!" Nick mused at how apropos it was to the moment: here he is, walking from the university founded by one of nation's architects and first presidents to the "People's House" (as the White House is dubbed) even as he authored, as his master's thesis, "The Tortured Mass Masculine." With his soreness and blisters, he chuckled that his physical self is indeed epitomizing his master's thesis' title. The deeper meaning wasn't lost in the humor, though, as Nick remarked, "It's omnipresent: the war, the violence, and the American involvement."

On his tombstone, Thomas Jefferson preferred the notation that he founded the University of Virginia to recognition of his presidency. Nick's march for peace underscores the wisdom of that choice: Jefferson's presidency was discrete in time, but the gift of the university is a legacy to American generations.

Now Nick's action of marching for peace to end the Iraq war is a demonstration of the essence Jefferson's venerable gift to America's future. Jefferson's words warn our nation even today: "[We would be] guilty of great [error] in [our] conduct toward other nations [if we endeavored] to force liberty on [our] neighbors in [our] own form." --Thomas Jefferson

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