Ride for Peace in town Sunday

Apr. 26, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

Sam Winstead is on his bicycle. Again.

Just as he did last year, he is riding the 350 miles from Raleigh to Washington to ask the nation’s leaders to end America’s wars.

He hopes other riders will join him.

Winstead, 87, knows something about war. He served with the 1st Marine Division in the South Pacific during World War II. And he has a grandson, an Army reservist, who has served three tours of duty in the Middle East.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Winstead will lead a group of riders from Raleigh to Henderson, where he will spend the night. On Monday, he will continue his ride, with hopes of arriving in Washington on May 4.

During the ride, Winstead will distribute copies of David Swanson’s book “When the World Outlawed War,” which tells the story of the Kellogg-Briand Peace Treaty. The pact renounced the use of war and called for the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

It was ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1928 by a vote of 85-1.

In Washington, Winstead plans to meet with the North Carolina congressional delegation.

One week after he returns from Washington, Winstead will fly to Japan at the invitation of Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka. Winstead, a Rotarian, fought the Japanese in the Pacific in 1944 and will make a pilgrimage for peace and reconciliation nearly 70 years after his days of conflict.

His message is straightforward: We have outgrown warfare.

More information about Winstead’s crusade can be found on the North Carolina Triangle Veterans for Peace website at ncveteransforpeace.org.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.