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Walk for Appalachia’s Future remembers lost lives in Giles Co.

Published: May. 29, 2022 at 4:32 PM EDT
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GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Walk for Appalachia’s Future met with Giles County community members May 29, to remember loved ones who fought against the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

“My dad, he fought in the Korean War to protect his rights and then here at home, he felt like his rights were being taken away from him,” Donald Jones said.

The Walk for Appalachia’s Future marched through Giles County before gathering at Newport-Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church.

“We thank you for the memory of those who have fought the good fight,” Pastor Morris Fleischer said.

Jones’ dad, George Jones, was one of the people remembered during the service.

He was born and raised in Newport, Va. His son says part of his land fell victim to the MVP.

“The thoughts of dad,” George Jones said. “The fight that he fought, and we were by side, it’s really hard for me to see his farmland be destroyed like it is.”

The service was a way to bring together the Giles County community and those putting in the miles in hopes of stopping the pipeline.

“The Walk for Appalachia’s Future is a group that decided to take this moment, to remind people that this fight is ongoing, that there’s a better future, that there’s still so much that we can protect, particularly if we walk together,” said Russell Chisholm with Volunteer with Preserving Giles.

He says the walkers give a voice to people in small towns.

“I think a lot of times people in rural spaces feel forgotten about, with these big issues around climate change,” Chisholm said.

He says his community feels the effects of the MVP project first hand.

“We can, we can see when people are flooded out of their homes, or their crop yields are lower, or they’re dealing with drought, and all of that, I think a lot of times people just feel like they’re left out of that conversation,” Chisholm said.

Even after eight years of fighting, Chisholm says he’s not done yet.

“We have a future we have a better future and I think when people are willing to walk together towards that future, we all benefit,” he said.

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