Raleigh, N.C. — Sam Winstead, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, departed Saturday morning from the belltower at North Carolina State University for a 350-mile bike ride.
With fellow riders, Winstead departed from Raleigh at 9 a.m., planning to complete his journey in less than one week, arriving in time for the Memorial Day ceremonial raising of the “Swords to Plowshares Belltower” art installation at the base of Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Swords to Plowshares Memorial Belltower is a 24-foot tall mobile belltower covered with silver wind-blown bricks made from recycled beer and soda cans.
Dedicated by Sam and other veterans on Memorial Day in 2014, the tower prompts visitors to share oral histories of how they and those they hold dear have suffered from war by inscribing the belltower’s the soft aluminum bricks with personal memories.
According to officials, the installation is dedicated to all veterans and victims of war, regardless of race, faith or nationality. Officials said it is part of a volunteer effort to heal moral injury – the feelings of guilt, anger and betrayal over loss of life on all sides – which has been linked to an epidemic of veteran and victim suicide.