VACAVILLE — Longtime war activist Cindy Sheehan joined the Tour de Peace Thursday as the cross-country bike ride kicked off on the nine-year anniversary of her son’s death in Iraq.
The plan is to ride from Vacaville to Washington, D.C., during the next three months, making public appearances along the way. A support vehicle will travel with the group.
Sheehan, of Vacaville, said she originally planned to ride the entire way; however, she has been sick and now plans to ride as long as possible each day.
Sheehan and a handful of other riders and supporters gathered in the rain Thursday at the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery gravesite of her son, Casey Sheehan, who died in 2004 while serving in the Army.
From a written statement, she listed several social issues the group would campaign for during the cross-country ride. They included ending wars, stopping immunity for U.S. war crimes, ending suppression of civil rights and curtailing the use of fossil fuels.
“I’m just thinking wonderful things will be showered on our tour,” said Sheehan, making reference to the rainy day. “It’s the journey, not the destination.”
The ride will go to Arlington National Cemetery and then to the White House. Sheehan said they didn’t have plans to meet with anyone specifically once arriving at the White House, but said they would submit any petitions or fact sheets they had.
“We will just try and present them at the front,” Sheehan said, before the ride. “They will know we are there and what our demands are.”
The first leg of the ride was scheduled to pull into Sacramento Thursday evening. The group hoped to be in Fresno by Saturday, Santa Monica on Sunday and eventually on to Twentynine Palms. From there the course will follow Route 66.
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