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Peace Education

Upper Austrian 'Peace Road' Follows Scenic Path

Reichraming, Austria—UPF of Upper Austria, in cooperation with three communities and their mayors, held a Peace Road bicycling tour through the scenic Steyr-Land district.

The September 30, 2017, tour started from the Peace Monument in the town of St. Ulrich (http://www.st-ulrich.at/), proceeded through the Enns Valley, passed through the town of Ternberg (http://www.ternberg.at/), and ended at the Peace Bridge by the Forestry Museum in the town of Reichraming (http://www.reichraming.at/).

The cycling tour for peace began at 10 a.m. in front of the St. Ulrich Peace Monument. In 1982 a former mayor, Thaddäus Steinmaier, had made St. Ulrich the first peace community in the world. The current mayor, who also cycled the 30 kilometers (over 18.6 miles) to Reichraming with 12 members of her community, presented Maria Pammer, the secretary general of UPF of Upper Austria, with an original St. Ulrich peace dove in recognition of the peace initiative, and Mrs. Pammer in turn presented the mayor with a UPF Ambassador for Peace certificate.

At the stop in Ternberg, the peace cyclists were received by the mayor in a barrack which from 1942 to 1944 housed nearly 400 prisoners of the Mauthausen concentration camp while they built the Enns Power Station. In keeping with the nature of the site,the mayor provided the guests with water and bread.

At 1 p.m. the peace activists—who had increased in number to 40 in total—met on the Peace Bridge in Reichraming. They were welcomed by a local councilor of Reichraming who also helps to oversee the Forestry Museum.

Mrs. Pammer gave a short report about the Peace Bridge’s origins eight years ago, when young people came from Israel and Palestine to build it together. She also reported about the first Peace Road project in 2013, which took place on the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The Reichraming mayor’s representative gave a very inspiring talk about the different aspects of peace, beginning with peace within oneself. She then invited the participants to write their thoughts on peace on small,colorful cards and tie them to the bridge.

At the end, the participants regained their strength through a hearty, locally prepared buffet. Contacts were made and plans were forged for the next year.

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