Peace ride

Wo­man bi­cy­cles in mem­ory of brother, in­cludes Pugwash stop

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAR­RELL COLE dar­rell.cole@amher­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

More than 40 years af­ter it ended, Dr. Lynn Salvo still re­mem­bers the pain and divi­sion caused by the Viet­nam War.

So, just two years af­ter set­ting a Guin­ness World Record as the old­est wo­man to bi­cy­cle across the con­ti­nen­tal United States, the Vir­ginia na­tive de­cided to do it again – this time cross­ing Canada from Tofino on Van­cou­ver Is­land to Lawrence­town Beach near Hal­i­fax. And Pugwash was one of her spe­cial stops on what could be coined as a peace jour­ney.

She’s trav­el­ling in mem­ory of her brother, whose plane was shot down over Viet­nam nearly 50 years ago. He was only 28 years old.

“Pro­mot­ing peace is per­sonal for me,” said Salvo, who fin­ished her tour by dip­ping the front tire of her bike near Hal­i­fax in the At­lantic Ocean on Aug. 26. “I lost my older brother in Viet­nam. His plane was shot down and he was never found. When he died his wife was ex­pect­ing their first child so he never got to know his child and his child never got to know him. I just won­der in those mo­ments af­ter he was hit, did he think about the child, did he even have time to think about the child? The fact they never met has never left me.”

On Aug. 23, she vis­ited what she con­sid­ers to be the Mecca of Peace in Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash

where in 1957 sci­en­tists from both sides of the Iron Cur­tain came to­gether at the sum­mer home of in­dus­tri­al­ist Cyrus Ea­ton to talk nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment.

“I get goose­bumps just sit­ting here think­ing about the his­tory of this place and the role it has played in pro­mot­ing peace and the non-pro­lif­er­a­tion of nu­clear weapons,” Salvo said. “It’s the cap­stone, or the crown jewel, of the places I’ve vis­ited. This place

is all about peace.”

While she doubts she alone can change the course of hu­man his­tory, she hopes her ride for peace in­spires others to think of peace­ful ways to re­solve dis­putes so no other fam­ily has to go through what hers did.

“It’s not just one fam­ily, it’s all the sib­lings and the gen­er­a­tions it af­fects,” she said.

As she made her way across Canada, she kept a tightly-con­trolled sched­ule. How­ever, she took time to visit var­i­ous peace mon­u­ments in­clud­ing the Peace Arch in Van­cou­ver, the Peace Bridge in Cal­gary, the Hu­man Rights Mu­seum in Win­nipeg, Man., the Peace Tower in Ot­tawa and the Mu­seum of Civ­i­liza­tion in Gatineau, Que.

She hopes peo­ple re­al­ize there are other ways deal with con­flict.

“Peace is hard. It’s kind of easy to throw weapons at each other,” she said. “Peace re­quires eye con­tact, ne­go­ti­a­tion, talk­ing, un­der­stand­ing and de­sire to un­der­stand.”

Salvo vis­ited the United Na­tions in 2017 and an image from there stuck with her. She said in­side the Gen­eral As­sem­bly there is a large yel­low cir­cle with a fast­spin­ning counter show­ing how much is spent on de­fence, while there are three smaller cir­cles that show spend­ing on other things like sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and feed­ing the hun­gry.

Quot­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal an­a­lyst and founder of the World­watch In­sti­tute, Salvo said just 10 per cent of the world’s de­fence bud­get would end world hunger.

When she first started her cross-coun­try tours, she also did it to show women can do so much more for much longer than they think, but then her be­lief ex­panded to em­brace the thought ev­ery­one can do so much more than they think is pos­si­ble.

DAR­RELL COLE – AMHERST NEWS

Dr. Lynn Salvo, a 68-year-old na­tive of Vir­ginia, suc­cess­fully com­pleted her quest to be­come the Guin­ness World Record holder as the old­est wo­man to cy­cle across Canada. She also com­pleted the ride to pro­mote peace in mem­ory of her brother, who was shot and killed while on a mis­sion dur­ing the Viet­nam War. She re­cently vis­ited what she con­sid­ers the cap­stone of peace, the Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash.

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