PeacePilgrim100, the group that organizes Egg Harbor City’s annual three-day celebration of peace, is asking New Jersey residents and non-residents to support its effort to get Peace Pilgrim inducted into the Hall of Fame. The group is circulating a petition that will be presented to the hall’s voting academy on Oct. 31.
Mildred Lisette Norman, born in Egg Harbor City in 1908, relinquished her identity, changed her name to Peace Pilgrim, and started a 27-year pilgrimage for peace at the head of the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 1953. She was a joyful, but penniless pilgrim who vowed to remain a wanderer until mankind learned the way of peace.
She walked dusty roads and city streets in every state in the nation, fasting until given food and walking until given shelter. Her message was simple, but profound: “Overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.”
Peace Pilgrim believed that peace in the world would become reality when enough people experienced inner peace.
“She walked across the country seven times and through Canada and Mexico, and stopped counting the miles at 25,000. She was the first woman to walk the entire Appalachian Trail in one season,” PeacePilgrim100 Chairwoman Barbara Reynolds said. “She touched the lives of tens of thousands of people one step at a time.”
Peace Pilgrim was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but her death in 1981 prevented her consideration.
A life-size statue of Peace Pilgrim was erected between busts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas K. Gandhi at the U.N. Peace University in Costa Rica. Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania houses a collection of Peace Pilgrim’s writings in its Peace Library.
PeacePilgrim100 and the international group, Friends of Peace Pilgrim keep her message alive by distributing her book, “Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words,” and her pamphlet, Steps Toward Inner Peace, which has been translated into 29 languages, free of charge to anyone who asks.
“When you look at the list of inductees into the New Jersey Hall of Fame they include actors, athletes, authors and admirals. Certainly, someone who has her roots and family in New Jersey and has done so much to foster peace among nations, groups and individuals should be among them,” Reynolds said.
Supporters can sign the petition at the Egg Harbor City Municipal Building, 500 London Ave. The petition can also be downloaded at www.peacepilgrim100.com, and returned to 349 Buffalo Ave., Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215 no later than Oct. 30. Supporters can also post comments about her worthiness for induction at www.facebook.com/NewJerseyHallOfFame
For more information about the Hall of Fame induction process, see www.njhalloffame.com .
For more information about Peace Pilgrim, see www.peacepilgrim.org , or call (609) 965-5681.
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