Real Name - Mildred Norman Ryder

She wasn't sponsored by any nike, she didn't wear a microsoft, didn't have high tech walking shoes. Her motto which was sewn on her tunic simply read " Overcome war with peace, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. This is the way to peace."

A brief history

By the all was said and done, she had walked, yes walked, over 25,000 miles across the United States in a pilgrimage for peace. She crisscrossed the United States an amazing seven times in her life, all on foot, and stopped to talk to anyone who was intrigued by her message.

She started her journey in 1953 at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. She handed out leaflets and gathered signatures for what she called a Peace Petition that was delivered to the United Nations after her first coast to coast walk was completed.

Like some kind of Johnny Appleseed, she sowed the seeds of her message at conventions, college lectures, church services, radio programs and TV interviews. The wanted to cover what she called "the whole peace picture: peace among nations, peace among groups, peace among people, and, most important, inner peace.

Although she never claimed that people should look for results from their efforts, she did live to see a shift in the world culture. What started in the fear and apathy of the McCarthy Era and the belief that war was the answer to conflict, was the replaced by the demonstrations for peace in the 60's.

Alas, every pilgrimage must come to an end. Ironically, the Peace Pilgrim was killed on July 7, 1981 in a car accident while being driven to a speaking engagement. She left behind no impressive legacy of books and printed materials, just newsletters and one booklet entitled "Steps Toward Inner Peace". Hopefully the message lives on.

Some quotes from the Peace Pilgrim

On Walking:

"From the beauties of nature, you get your inspiration. From the silent receptiveness, you get your meditation. From the walking, you get not only exercise, but deep breathing - all in one lovely experience."

On Life and Death

"The body is just a garment. Death is a glorious transition to a freer life."

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