The Corvallis Odd Fellows held their third annual Unsung Heroes dinner September 26, 2019. They honored Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter member Linda Richards as the “unsung hero” from our VFP chapter.
Linda has been an associate member of Veterans For Peace and a member of the Corvallis chapter for over seven years. She currently works as a senior history instructor in the Oregon State University School of History, Philosophy, and Religion. She has worked for years in the field of medical history, focusing on nuclear weapons and uranium mining.
Mayor Biff Traber of Corvallis presented the Unsung Hero awards to representatives of several local volunteer groups, including Casa Latinos Unidos de Benton County, Heartland Humane Society, Dial-a-Bus, and Meals On Wheels.
In presenting the award to Linda, Mayor Traber noted:
This award could not be more timely as she recently lead anti-nuclear activists in the annual “Peace Walk,” facilitated a public forum on nuclear issues, and most significantly, spent many hours in Salem lobbying state legislators to pass Oregon Senate Joint Memorial 5, making Oregon the second state in the country to urge the US Congress to take steps to decrease the threat of nuclear war and to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. [More on SJM 5 here.]
Mayor Traber then told the audience he found this information about Linda very interesting:
Something many people don’t know is that Linda played women’s professional tackle football for one season at the age of 44. Now, combine that image with a woman who is nearly obsessed with folding tiny origami paper cranes. Linda can be seen during meetings and at just about any tabling event folding peace cranes in memory of the survivors and victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks. These two activities, contrasting the rough and tumble world of tackle football with the delicate art of peace crane folding, highlight Linda’s character. It is one of dauntless energy in pursuit of a more peaceful world but centered in deep personal empathy for all victims of war. These admirable traits, often obscured by her humility, are why we honor her tonight.
We could not agree more.
Many thanks to the Odd Fellows of Corvallis, especially to the event organizers, Cathy Lorenson and Bonnie Tomski.