I met Al Forte at Atria - Draper Place on Labor Day. He was spending a few nights there during his
latest pray for peace walk. Here's what he told me:
I was born in Brooklyn and lived much of my adult life in Stamford, Connecticut. Later, when I was living
in Michigan I joined Toastmasters. One of the assignments was to give a speech that would
encourage people to do something. My goal was really more to get an A on the talk than it was to
convince anyone to do anything. I gave a talk on praying for peace, and I had some cards (shown
above) made up to give to the group. I only needed about 20 cards, but the place where I had it done
did a minimum of 200, so I had a lot left over.
Back in Connecticut, I was early for church one morning. While I was sitting there, an image came into
my mind. It was of a Muslim mom and dad looking at their dead children. I knew how they must feel.
That's the worst thing that can happen to anyone. I heard the words, "Al, you can do something about
I'd think about that from time to time, and finally, in 2008, I decided to walk from New York to Chicago,
where two of my children live. I started at Yankee Stadium and went to the baseball parks in
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The season had ended before I arrived in Chicago.
In 2010, I walked from Boston to New York, and in 2011, from the Pentagon Memorial to Ground Zero.
Now I'm walking from the Old North Church to New York. It's a walk to remember the Marathon
bombing and the Newtown school shooting.
I often talk at assisted living facilities. An activities director at an Atria home in Connecticut was very
interested in what I do. She thought it would be good for people there to see how active a 70-year old
could be. She arranged for me to stay here during part of my Boston-New York walk.
ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, our towns, our country, our world. Can you imagine how
that would help our children?
You can see more about my walks at http://www.prayforpeacewalk.org/
shows the routes of Al's walks during the past several years.