The idea arose during a discussion of our upcoming Peace Pentecost witness and, with our children's help, burst into a joyful festival of color two weeks later in front of the Department of Energy. The "Rainbow Peace Train," an exuberant alternative to the White Train, was made up of little red wagons, tricycles, strollers, and riding toys.
We adults had envisioned a children's peace train as a way to include our little ones in our protest against the White Train to be held at the DOE, the federal agency that is responsible for giving the signal to start the nuclear train on its journey across the United States. But it was 4-year-old Annie who exclaimed, "Let's make it a rainbow peace train!" and turned the protest into a bright celebration, a reminder of God's promise never to destroy the world.
Sunday School that week was spent in excited preparation for the Rainbow Peace Train. The children suggested what they would like to see a train carry instead of bombs: "A circus!" said Joshua. "Corn on the cob!" cried Katie.
Next, each child painted a picture of their idea of what their train should carry and labeled it. Sixteen-month-old Timmy, who didn't quite grasp the meaning of the event, nevertheless happily wielded a paint-sodden brush, declaring that his paper's blue and red splotches were "bawoons."
The morning of the witness the children gathered at the DOE with their parents, pictures, and riding toys and decorated the Peace Train, threading blue, red, green, and yellow streamers through wheels and around handlebars and tying helium balloons to fenders. The train's "engine" was a large wagon covered on each side with a rainbow and emblazoned with the sign, "Rainbow Peace Train." The little ones on their festooned riding toys all lined up behind it, carrying their pictured cargo.