Sam Winstead—Veteran For Peace
The newest member of the Eisenhower Chapter of Veterans For Peace, Sam Winstead, a WWII marine vet, led a 7 day, 350 mile bicycle Ride for Peace from Raleigh, NC to Washington DC Apr. 29 through May 5.
The journey began 4/29/12 at 8:00 am departing from the Capitol Building in Raleigh, NC, with overnight stops in Henderson, NC, Blackstone, VA, The Grayhaven Winery in Gum Spring, VA, Culpeper, Middleburg and Leesburg.
Mr. Winstead, an 86 year old retired farmer from Person County, NC, pedaled the entire route for 7 days, including some daunting hills in northern Virginia, with his cousin Joe Winstead, 68, and 64 year old Fred Mauney. Fourteen other bicyclists joined the ride for parts of the route, including Sam’s 15 year old great grandson Aidan Janke, and 30 year old grandson Billy Janke. Support drivers Bert Gurganus, Wally Ewalt and Ted Zeller also accompanied the Ride for Peace for the entire week.
Sam led twelve Riders for Peace to a rally at Lafayette Park in Washington DC, and were greeted with cheers by friends who had gathered to welcome them. Speakers at the rally included Jean Athey from Montgomery County, MD Peace Action and National Peace Action co-chair; Michael McPhearson from Newark, NJ, former national executive director of Veterans For Peace and current co-coordinator of United for Peace and Justice; and acclaimed author and peace activist, David Swanson from Charlottesville.
A highlight of the rally was a statement of solidarity from a representative of South Korea Peace Action, Jay Lee. Coincident to Sam Winstead’s Rally for Peace, the South Koreans staged a White House rally to protest the construction of a US naval base on Jeju Island. President Obama was speaking in Richmond on that Saturday, but there will be further opportunities to address the President, Congress and citizens. After Sam completed his ride, he sent the following message to supporters:
“Dear Fellow Peacekeepers:
Our Ride for Peace opened many doors along the way to convey our message. Bert Gurganus, following with a message on the back of his vehicle saying Ride for Peace Bicyclists Ahead and Fred Mauney, waving at every car for 350 miles, caused people to slow down, smile, honk their horns and wave.
There were press interviews and hosts that wined and dined and sheltered us for the night. These hosts invited their influential friends to join us with music and fellowship.
It's easy to understand man's barbaric behavior when he had two choices--flight or fight. Today's communication, technology and weaponry skills have narrowed our choices of survival to one--"World Peace."
Our Ride for Peace was not for soil and flags to cover our octogenarians, but to open the doors of opportunity for Billy, my grandson, and Aidan, my great-grandson, who rode with us.
Thanks to all who have stepped forward to spread a message that must be shared.
(See photo, below)
Sam receiving the Torch Bearer Award from the World Harmony Runners in Carrboro, April 23. Photo by Arpan DiAngelo
BlueNC is dedicated to freedom and fairness for the people of North Carolina. If you share that vision, welcome. If your intention is to disrupt our efforts, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.