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Team 26 in front of City Hall in Baltimore
Team 26 members Jay Clark and I will ride from the Sandy Hook School to Hartford to join the 5th Annual Mothers' United Against Violence March, Memorial and Rally this Saturday, March 30th.  https://www.facebook.com/...

Here is the schedule:

6:45 - Departure from Sandy Hook - parking lot behind Demitasse Coffee Shop

9:30 - 10:00: Arrive in Hartford - 1047 Main Street - near Albany Avenue in Hartford. We will be travelling through Woodbury, Watertown, Thomaston, Farmington, and W. Hartford. We will be riding a steady, quick pace. Any cyclist who wants to join us can comment below and we can figure out a meeting place and time en route. We have a tight schedule, however, and will need to keep the pace pretty high.

10:00 AM SHARP, March steps off with participants carrying the 360 crosses representing those taken on the the streets of Hartford from 2000 to March 25, 2013. [including the 19 since last year's march].

10:30 Memorial Service led by Rev. Donald Johnson of New Hope Congregation.  At end of service Henrietta Beckman and Ashley Lee will read names, and Giselle Jacobs will toll the bell. The final bell will be tolled for Newtown.

ORDER OF SPEAKERS AT THE NORTH PORTICO OF THE CAPITOL
Rev. Henry Brown will introduce the MCs: Deborah Davis and Janet Rice
Speaker Host: Mrs. Henrietta Beckman, Pres., MUAV and Minster Jarmaine Lee
Deborah Davis will introduce J. Stan McCauley

A.    Introduction – JUSTICE –TRUTH –EQUALITY -  J. Stan McCauley                                
B.    Speakers
1. WELCOME: Henrietta Beckman of MUAV                                                                
2. Mothers of Hartford                               
3. MUSICAL SELECTION - VOICES
4. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal                               
5. Message from U.S. Senator Chris Murphy – Shawn Scanlon                       
6. Governor Dannel P. Malloy                                   
7. Mayor Pedro Segarra, Mayor of Hartford                           
8. MUSICAL SELECTION –Jill Friedman                           
9. Dr. Janet Robinson, Superintendent of Schools, Newtown                
10. Pastor Sam Saylor – father of Shane Oliver taken October 20, 2012       
11. Stephen Barton – Survivor of Shooting in Aurora - Mayors Against Illegal Guns   
12. Monte Frank, Team 26 – organizer of the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
13. MUSICAL SELECTION: VOICES of WOMEN OF COLOR
14. Nancy Lefkowitz – March for Change               
15. Darren Wagner - Newtown Action Alliance           
16. Bishop Patrice Smith                                   
17. SPOKEN WORD SELECTION: Lytasha Blackwell                   
18. CLOSING COMMENTS, BENEDICTION and HYMN
        Rev. Henry Brown                                                      
        Brother Joe Ellison with Saving Our Kids from the Streets
            "It's Time to Make a Change”

       

We are proud to ride to Hartford and stand with Reverend Henry Brown and the Hartford community who have endured the pain of gun violence for many years, and continue to do so. At the rally at the Capitol, Darren Wagner of Newtown Action Alliance and I will offer brief remarks of support from Newtown. Towns and cities are united across this State and America in seeking an end to our gun epidemic.

Consider this - most of you could name many if not all of the children and teachers killed by the monster at the Sandy Hook School.  Since 12/14, more than 2,500 people have been killed by gun violence.  Can you name any of them?  Do you know their stories?  Like me, probably not. We can no longer remain numb. We should care. So, here are the people killed by gun violence in Connecticut's largest cities since 12/14.

Hartford
*Kwante Feliciano, Age 19
*Kelly Cooper, Age 30
*Jazzy Delgado, Age 21

Bridgeport
*Taurus Williams, Age 37

New Haven
*Abdul Rawas, Age 55 - A neighborhood is heartbroken after a well-known store clerk is shot dead.
*Lonnie Starr, Age 29 - Shot in an attempted hold-up by a 17-year-old who had been on probation for a previous robbery. “Today, two mothers will be grieving,” said Chief Dean Esserman said. “This good mother had to lose her son.” NH Register.

Kwante Feliciano and Kelly Cooper were killed last Monday in Hartford. Before this incident, there had not been a gun violence homicide in Hartford in 77 days --the longest hiatus in gun violence crime since 2005.  And, that's a record? Can we please stop this madness?

I would invite you all to look at the cities in your respective states and comment below.

The scourge of gun violence in our cities is a problem we can no longer ignore. Cities and small towns must stand united if are going to cure the gun violence epidemic which faces our Nation. It is for this reason that Team 26 stopped in Baltimore for a meeting with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake.

Here are my comments from that meeting: http://www.youtube.com/...

Baltimore, Hartford, and Newtown stand united. Gun violence is truly unbiased, affecting lives with no regard for age, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.  We must pedal together to break the stranglehold of gun violence on our Nation.  

Follow Team 26 at SandyHookRideonWashington.  

Mayor's Proclamation - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington Day in Baltimore

Originally posted to MonteFrank on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thank you Monte for investing so much of (8+ / 0-)

    yourself in this cause...my family followed the SHRoW from CA...sadly it took an event like 12/14 to bring attention to this subject...but many Americans have been shocked to learn about the reality of gun violence...and have joined the fight to reduce the carnage.


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:22:32 AM PDT

  •  anybody want to buy a Team 26 shirt..??.. (7+ / 0-)


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:29:36 AM PDT

  •  This is great. While nothing will happen (6+ / 0-)

    overnite, I'm hopeful we are wearing against the granite like the wind. Or water.

    Over time, we will triumph.

    Thanks Monte, for doing this and letting us know.

    *Are we humans or are we dancers?* Annie Lennox (thx Words In Action & OPOL)

    by glorificus on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:37:10 AM PDT

  •  Monte Frank, Welcome to Daily Kos! (6+ / 0-)

    It was a real pleasure supporting the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington a few weeks ago.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:40:17 AM PDT

  •  Is it just me or is there a problem with the (4+ / 0-)

    first link in the diary?

     https://www.facebook.com/.... goes to an error page for me.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:45:40 AM PDT

  •  The Connecticut Effect (5+ / 0-)

    For anyone who missed our mini-blogathon covering the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington, March 9 -12, you can learn more about Team 26 and Sandy Hook Ride On Washington: The Real Connecticut Effect in the awesome closing diary of our blogathon.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:06:50 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the great work! (5+ / 0-)

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:16:29 AM PDT

  •  Meet the Riders - Who is Team 26? (4+ / 0-)
    Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
    [The cyclists on Team 26 include] a former US National Team member, Canadian National Team member, Masters National Champion, and State and Regional Champions. Three members of the Team are from Newtown, including Monte Frank, Bill Muzzio and Chris Peck. Two of the riders have children who went to the Sandy Hook School. [Their] team includes parents, teachers, and a Vietnam Veteran. [They] all care deeply about our children and seek reasonable gun control legislation.
    In the comments below I'll be introducing each member of Team 26, and their support crew. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know them through their "Why I Ride?" statements, as much as I have.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:22:37 AM PDT

    •  Rider #1: Monte Frank, Sandy Hook, CT (4+ / 0-)
      Rider #1: Monte Frank, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.Here is my daughter getting on the bus for her 1st day of 1st Grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Sept. 2007).
      Monte Frank's daughter - 1st day of 1st Grade (Sept. 2007).
      Rider #1: Monte Frank, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

      WHY I RIDE?

      I am riding because I want to live in a country where parents don't have to worry about putting their kids on the bus in the morning. "Some say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." Here is my daughter getting on the bus for her 1st day of 1st Grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Sept. 2007).

      Who is this? Is this Monte Frank on his bike?
      Monte Frank
      I started Team 26 as a way to deliver a message to Congress demanding common sense gun legislation. I look[ed] forward to introducing the rest of Team 26 over the course of the [next few] weeks, starting with our Sandy Hook and Newtown riders.

      Peace

      -----------------------------------------------

      Monte Frank's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      -----------------------------------------------

      Follow Monte Frank on Twitter:

      "Monte - Did you ride here?""No, Senator. Next time."Senator Blumenthal will send us off from the Reed... fb.me/ApYLrlkm— SHRoW (@SHROW_2013) March 3, 2013

      Monte - Did you ride here?
      "Monte - Did you ride here?"  Monte Frank shaking hands with Senator Blumenthal (D-CT)
      https://www.facebook.com/...

      Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

      "Monte - Did you ride here?"
      "No, Senator. Next time."

      Senator Blumenthal will send us off from the Reed School at 8:30 this Saturday and greet us when we arrive at the Capitol at 1:00 on March 12th. Make your plans to join us and show America the Connecticut Effect. We are Newtown and we demand stronger laws to reduce gun violence! — with Monte Frank, Richard Blumenthal and Senator Richard Blumenthal at Senate Judiciary Hearings on the Assault Weapons Ban.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:29:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #2: Bill Muzzio, Sandy Hook, Connecticut (3+ / 0-)
      Rider #2: Bill Muzzio - Daughters at Sandy Hook Elementary School
      Rider #2: Bill Muzzio - Daughters at Sandy Hook
      Rider #2: Bill Muzzio, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

      WHY I RIDE?

      This ride is very personal to me. My heart is broken for the families and victims of this senseless tragedy on innocent children. I’m riding on Team 26 to demand a change. This cannot be allowed to happen again in any other community.

      We moved our family to Sandy Hook because it was safe. Our daughters have the best memories of their years at Sandy Hook Elementary. They got on their bus every morning wanting to go to school. I want Newtown to be remembered for what we did to overcome this horrific tragedy and not what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. I'm proud and honored to be part of such a great cause. I want to be a hero for my girls and make their world a safer place to live.

      This picture was taken at Sandy Hook Elementary.

      Peace
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Bill Muzzio's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:30:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider # 3. Chris Peck, Newtown, Connecticut (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slksfca, Glen The Plumber
      Rider # 3. Chris Peck, Newtown, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      As a longtime Newtown resident, I naively believed my town was safe from some of the violence and tragedy that I saw in the rest of the world. I now realized that no place is immune, but I want to demand a change that I believe will reduce the chances of other communities having to go through this heartbreak. My two children go to a different Newtown elementary school just a mile from the Sandy Hook school, and their loss of innocence when having to deal with this terrible event has motivated me to try to make a difference for the future. My hope is that positive change can help to honor those lost.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Chris Peck's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:32:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider # 4: John Funk, South Kent, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider # 4: John Funk - Sandy Hook Rides on Washington (with Max Enis)
      Rider # 4: John Funk (with Max Enis)
      Rider # 4: John Funk, High School Math Teacher, South Kent, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      To send a message.

      The tragedy at Sandy Hook School struck a nerve. Actually, there are lots of issues that bother me involving this unfortunate incident, but gun violence has to be at the top of my list. As a teacher (only a few towns over from Newtown, CT), it is my job to develop those young minds ... and how we're all connected. In order to live in a more peaceful world, we need to take a harder look at reasonable laws to reduce gun violence.

      The one thing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook, is that it DID bring people together. People were asking some really hard questions. One question: Are we pleased with the laws in placed to reduce gun violence? As a teacher, I would like to send a message saying ... it could be better. A lot better.

      Too many innocent people have died because of gun violence. It's time for a change. It's time to live more as a community working together towards a common place: worldwide peace. This is something I teach to all of my students. I ride to represent the teachers and students of Newtown and the entire world.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      John Funk's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:34:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #5: Stephen Badger, Roxbury, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #5: Stephen Badger - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington - Core Values
      Rider #5: Stephen Badger - Core Values
      Rider #5: Stephen Badger, Roxbury, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      This picture represents the Core Values taught at my wife's school.

      As a very fortunate man who is married to a School Psychologist, I am humbled and honored to ride for the school educators. The tragedy of Sandy Hook has made me even more aware of schools, students, educators and safety.

      I ride for the past, present and future educators who make a difference every single day in teaching, protecting, giving to and caring about the students in such an unconditional manner. I applaud their time and dedication, both during school and with after school activities. I want to recognize the administrators, teachers, specials teachers, paraprofessionals, tutors and specialists who have robustly dedicated their lives and careers to children.

      I fondly recollect my elementary school/middle school/high school teachers who taught children to believe in themselves, inspired future decisions, guided children to be both proactive and responsible with their endeavors and encouraged them to respect the privilege of education. I want to thank them for their courage in teaching, protecting and shaping our future.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Stephen Badger's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:35:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #6: Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #6: Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut
      Rider #6: Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut
      Rider #6: Andrea Myers, Danbury, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      I lost one of my closest friends to gun violence 5 years ago. The pain and sadness I experienced comes back each time a shooting is in the news. The shootings in Sandy Hook hit too close to home. My friends and co-workers have children who go to SHS. My heart aches for the residents of Newtown and all who have been affected by this tragedy.

      I ride to deliver a message to Congress that these tragedies must never be repeated. Now is the time to enact common sense laws to prevent gun violence. I ride in memory of my friend and I ride for Newtown.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Andrea Myers' Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:35:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #7: Mike Andrews, Danbury, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #7: Mike Andrews - Teaching Music - Sandy Hook Rides on Washington
      Rider #7: Mike Andrews - Teaching Music
      Rider #7: Mike Andrews, Music Teacher, Danbury, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      When the events at Sandy Hook unfolded, I watched the media reports from my neighboring town and found it difficult to view entire news clips. As a parent of little kids and as a teacher in Danbury, I didn’t want to believe it. I had to turn off the TV because I kept seeing faces of parents just like me. I kept seeing children and students just like mine and like many of you, I felt it could have been my family or my students, or my fellow teachers. I continually shook my head in disbelief. I had to do something to help prevent this from happening again, anything to show that I support my neighbors, my friends and my colleagues.

      I am joining my fellow cyclists to support common sense gun safety laws and bring awareness to the faults in our mental health system. I am also riding to honor the first responders, the victims and their families of this horrific event. I want them to know I grieve with them and I stand with them. My hope is that our country can move forward as a cohesive unit with compassion and balanced understanding to make progress and the improvement that is needed.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Mike Andrews' Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:37:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #8: Tom Officer, Litchfield, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #8: Tom Officer - Sandy Hook Rides on Washington
      Tom Officer
      Rider #8: Tom Officer, Litchfield, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      I’m riding as a father, who cannot imagine the pain of losing a child.

      I’m riding as a husband, who cannot imagine the sorrow of losing one’s spouse or partner.

      I’m riding as a neighbor, who cannot imagine what Sandy Hook has been through.

      I’m riding as an American, who cannot imagine seeing our country continue to go through these episodes of gun violence.

      I’m riding as a cyclist, who cannot imagine any other way to express my pain and anger over the Sandy Hook tragedy.

      And last, I’m riding as a human being, who cannot imagine not trying in some way to leave this earth a better place than when I came in.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Tom Officer's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:37:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #9: Jeremy Brazeal, Manchester, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #9: Jeremy Brazeal - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington  
      Rider #9: Jeremy Brazeal
      Rider #9: Jeremy Brazeal, Manchester, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      I ride because I now believe the reason I got back into racing 4 years ago after 14 years off the bike was for this cause.

      I ride because I never want to forget the frantic text messages from my mother. She was telling me that my sister's school in Monroe (where she teaches) was on lockdown, and that a school shooting took place, but she did not know where.

      I ride to chase the knot out of my stomach that has remained since the second I heard that teachers and children (the ages of my two youngest) had lost their lives.

      I ride, because the truth is, children are in the care of others for half their lives and we cannot be there to protect them.

      I ride for the families that are grieving over the loss of their children. I ride because they are our children too. As Americans we have all lost someone, because it truly takes a nation to raise a child.

      I ride because I do not want to see a future where schools are a war zone and not a safe haven. I ride because I want our educators to focus on being better teachers and not armed guards.

      I ride because I am tired of people on both sides of the gun safety issue taking extreme stances while nothing gets done. The walls these individuals are building would surely crumble under the weight of a lost child. I ride because I will not STAND for politics taking the safety of our children and all Americans hostage.

      So, I RIDE!

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Jeremy Brazeal's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:38:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #10: Officer Jeff Silver, Newtown, CT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #10: Officer Jeff Silver - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
      Newtown Police Officer Jeff Silver
      Rider #10: Officer Jeff Silver, Newtown Department of Police Services

      WHY I RIDE?

      As a law enforcement officer, I am charged with the protection and security of the citizens. If a change can be made which will aid in this mission then I support it. Reform of the mental health system is overdue. Most of the use of force incidents we are exposed to involve a person with a mental health issue. Development of an outpatient system available for referral by police at the early signs of problems, and enforcement of the inpatient system will get those the help they need.

      I ride for common sense gun control laws. I ride for background checks and registration of all weapons. When I respond to a physical domestic in progress, or a suicidal call, I should not have to wonder if there are firearms at that house. The regulation of high capacity sources, rifles-regardless of the date of manufacture of the lower, background checks, and firearms tracking need to be reformed.

      I ride in support of the families of the victims. I ride in support of my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. I ride in support of all those affected by 12-14-12. I ride so that their pain and suffering were not in vain, but that they fuel the catalyst of change.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Officer Jeff Silver's 2010 Award for Bravery

      Police Recognize Officers with Awards
      Officer Jeffrey Silver received an award for bravery demonstrating "exceptional heroism in the performance of duty while exposed to life-imperiling danger."

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:45:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #11: Matt Baldwin, Redding, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #11: Matt Baldwin - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
      Matt Baldwin
      Rider #11: Matt Baldwin, Redding, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      As I stood there that December day seeing the news reports come in, I was frozen watching the parents on the television scrambling to find their children they had put on the bus just hours before. This was too close to home. So close that my 2 year old daughter had to spend the day in lockdown the next town over from Newtown and I could do nothing.

      I could not count how many times I had ridden past this school over the years. I had trouble believing this violent, preventable crime had been repeated again, much less close enough to directly impact my daughter, my friends, and their children.

      I am riding so that I will never have to worry that when I drop my daughter off at school or put her on the bus, that she is not safe, and so that we don’t get to the point where teachers have to carry handguns or have armed guards and metal detectors at every school.

      I know we cannot change everything overnight, but the most important thing I can teach my daughter is to always try and make a difference and stand for what you believe is right. This is why I ride.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Matt Baldwin's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:46:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #12 Jonathan Lowenstein, North Kingstown, RI (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #12: Jonathan Lowenstein - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
      Jonathan Lowenstein
      Rider #12: Jonathan Lowenstein, North Kingstown, Rhode Island

      WHY I RIDE?

      I ride because I can. I was really moved when the shootings happened on December 14th. The first thing I wanted to do was to go get my seven year old daughter from school. It was just around lunch time, and she had to finish her day and go to her after school program. I spent the next few hours watching the details of this tragedy unfold on TV. Finally, I could go get her. I think the only time I was more happy to see her was when she was born. I told her what happened that day because I wanted her to hear it from me so she could ask any questions and get the truth. I didn't want her getting misinformation from classmates or friends. Eventually, Monday came, and I had to take her to the bus stop like I do every day. That's when I felt like there was nothing I could do to keep her safe at school. Our town was planning on increasing police presence at the schools. What could I do? Soon after, the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington popped up on facebook. They had one simple request: like our page to spread the word. I did along with most of every other post that came out. Then they asked people to buy stickers for their bikes to show support. I got five. Caroline, my daughter even has one on her bike. Then they asked me to join the ride. I didn't even need to think it over. This was something I could do. If I can be part of something that may help to get sensible legislation passed making the world a little better for everyone, I will. I've been racing bikes since 1986, and riding to Washington will be the most meaningful ride I've ever done.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Jonathan Lowenstein' Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:47:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #13: Lieutenant Gary Lyke, Brookfield, CT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #13: Lieutenant Gary Lyke - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
      Lieutenant Gary Lyke
      Rider #13: Lieutenant Gary Lyke, Brookfield, Connecticut
      Served in Vietnam - U.S. Army

      WHY I RIDE?

      For 3 years I was honored to be a guest at a Veteran’s Day Breakfast sponsored by the Sandy Hook Elementary School students. My host, Sarah, was a student at SHS and daughter of my close friend Monte. Veterans’ guests included grandfathers, fathers, uncles, cousins and family friends; representing WWII through Iraq and Afghanistan. I was one of several who served in Vietnam.

      The morning would begin with each veteran joining their student sponsor and faculty outside of the school for the raising of our flag. We then moved to our sponsor’s classroom to meet their classmates and join in the Pledge of Allegiance. The student would then present us with homemade cards thanking us for our service to our country. We were then escorted to the school cafeteria, decorated with handmade crafts honoring us veterans and our country; here the students would lead us through a buffet breakfast. A guest speaker, always someone on active military duty, would give a short talk about the importance of Veteran’s Day. The last year, one student’s relative serving in Iraq sent a letter thanking the faculty and students for taken the time to honor our country’s veterans. The breakfast would conclude with the school choir singing patriotic songs, from Yankee Doodle Dandy to America the Beautiful. For me and I am sure all the veterans, the experience was humbling and reminded me how proud I am to have served my country.

      On December 14, 2012 a horrible tragedy took place at this same school. Twenty six innocent people were killed, 20 of them First Graders. I ride to honor them and all those who cared enough to honor me.

      I ride in the hope I can help encourage our leaders to join in creating meaningful, common sense laws making it safe for children to grow and inherit the freedoms I and other veterans served for.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Gary Lyke's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:48:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #14: Michael Magur, Newburgh, New York (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #14: Michael Magur - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
      Michael Magur
      Rider #14: Michael Magur, Newburgh, New York

      WHY I RIDE?

      I ride as a new father who believes action must be taken to help minimize gun violence. Like most of you I have watched too many news reports of shootings prior to Sandy Hook. On December 14th, with my daughter in my arms, I turned on the news and saw the early reports of the tragedy that was still unfolding in Newtown, Connecticut. In those very first moments of watching the news, my perspective on gun violence changed in an instant because I knew Newtown. I have been to Newtown. I know people who live in Newtown and who have sent their children to Sandy Hook Elementary. Gun violence was no longer just a headline in the newspaper, but rather it became a tragedy that touched the lives of people I know and care about. Still watching the events unfold in front of me I sat back down on the edge of the bed hugging my daughter a bit tighter before promising her I would do everything in my power to protect her from such evils.

      Looking back I fear I was becoming desensitized to the gun violence all around me. The events of 12-14-12 have made me realize that no one is safe from gun violence and if I want a safer future for my family, then it is my responsibility to be part of the solution.

      I know this is a complex issue that involves state and federal laws, flaws in our mental health system and issues of constitutionality, among many other concerns. I ride to ask our politicians to work in a bipartisan manner to draft legislation which will help protect us from gun violence while preserving our right to bear arms. I ride to honor the victims and their families who have had to endure more pain than anyone ever should. I ride so that my daughter will have a safer tomorrow then we have today.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Michael Magur's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:50:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #15: Andy Officer, Goshen, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #15: Andy Officer - Sandy Hook Ride on Washington
      Andy Officer
      Rider #15: Andy Officer, Goshen, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      I ride because I want to make a difference.

      In memory of all the victims lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy, for their families and for the community of Newtown. Because they deserve to see change, change that leads us to a safer world.

      I ride for that change. I'm riding on team 26 because I know together we can create positive change. Together as a team, as a community, as a country we can help prevent another tragedy from happening. I ride because I know together we can help save lives.

      I'm riding because in my heart I know it's the right thing to do. If riding on a team of 26 cyclists over 400 miles is a small part I can contribute on trying to make this world a safer place, than I'll ride any day.

      PS: Andy's father and one of his high school teachers are also riding on Team 26.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Andrew Officer's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:51:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #16: Fred Thomas, Cape Elizabeth, Maine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Fred Thomas, Cyclist, Sandy Hook Rides on Washington
      Fred Thomas
      Rider #16: Fred Thomas, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

      WHY I RIDE?

      I am riding because something good must come of the awful events of Sandy Hook. I am riding because I represent the “silent majority” of gun owners who do not subscribe to the National Rifle Association’s angry and extreme message of solidarity. I am riding because it is a privilege and an honor to be invited to ride with such a great group of cyclists for such a worthwhile cause.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Frederic Thomas' Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:52:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #17: Carl Reglar, Mt. Vernon, New York (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Team 26 Rider 17: Carl Reglar
      Rider #17: Carl Reglar
      Rider #17: Carl Reglar, Mt. Vernon, New York

      WHY I RIDE?

      I am humbled to be part of this group. Like most of us, I’m still in shock over the Newtown tragedy. Having friends who live in the town with small children made this terrible act resonate much more than it would if it occurred on the other side of the country. I can’t even imagine what the victim’s families are going through. These acts of violence which seem to be happening more frequently need to stop. We all need to be part of solutions to end gun violence and this ride is my small part. However, I will never forget that the laws we have need to change to prevent future acts of violence in all communities. I am committed to this cause and I ask you to support legislation that makes our communities stronger and safer. It’s an honor to ride for Newtown, as well as all towns and cities across the country that have been affected by gun violence.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Carl Reglar's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:53:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #18: Wayne Prescott, Litchfield, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #18: Wayne Prescott, Litchfield, Connecticut Library Media Specialist at New Milford High School
      Wayne Prescott
      Rider #18: Wayne Prescott, Litchfield, Connecticut
      Library Media Specialist at New Milford High School

      WHY I RIDE?

      I ride for the educators and students in Newtown, and every town, who wake up each morning and face the day with a smile. None of us will ever forget the terrible tragedy in Sandy Hook, a day when everyone got out of bed with that same smile on their faces. And in spite of the horror of that day, we all still do it, every day. This is defines us and who we are.

      As the events of December 14 unfolded, my high school went into lockdown. In the dark, sitting on the floor under desks and tables with dozens of students around me, one could hear a pin drop. With only erratic and sometimes unreliable information coming to us via social media on our personal devices, we wondered how something so evil and unthinkable could be carried out against such innocent children. We couldn’t share, discuss, comfort or filter the information out loud. We just sat, wondering and hoping. None of us ever want to be in that place again, but we all know it is in the realm of possibility unless we can motivate our society to undergo radical change.

      As an educator, I fully understand how the faculty and staff at SHS could do what they did in the face of such terror. They tried as best they could to keep that smile on, soften those fears, and in some cases give their lives to protect their students. I have no children of my own, but I have had thousands of students over my 20-year career I consider “my children” and I have some sense of those feelings parents have every day. Ironically, 2 of the riders on the SHRoW are a former student and his father, a fitting connection for me personally that puts the tragedy, and what I do every day as an educator, in perspective.

      To me, this ride is not a political statement or a challenge to the Second Amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners. This ride is about moving forward and keeping productive, intelligent, reasonable discourse on the table. As responsible citizens, we all have a common goal of making our country a safer, stronger and more supportive place for our children, in spite of any reasonable philosophical or political differences we may have. For this, I ride with pride and honor.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Wayne Prescott's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:54:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #19: Kevin Fitzmaurice, Middlebury, CT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #19: Kevin Fitzmaurice, Middlebury, Connecticut
      Rider #19: Kevin Fitzmaurice
      Rider #19: Kevin Fitzmaurice, Middlebury, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      As I watched the news coverage of the Sandy Hook shooting on the morning of December 14th, I started going through the list of all the people I know that might have been at risk. The list was long and the wait to hear that everyone I knew was ok was long. I can’t imagine how long and painful the wait was for parents of children who went to the Sandy Hook Middle School. Unfortunately, everything did not turn out ok on that day and I would like to do something, anything, to minimize the likelihood of another Sandy Hook. I realize that there are a number of factors that contributed to this tragedy and there is a lot of work to do to prevent future occurrences but passing sensible gun control laws is a first step.

      I ride to support my Sandy Hook friends and neighbors, everyone that was impacted by the Sandy Hook tragedy and for all victims of gun violence.

      I ride so that Sandy Hook will not be forgotten and in hopes that sensible gun control laws will be enacted to help minimize gun violence.

      As a gun owner, I ride to emphasize that sensible gun control does not mean taking away the right of private citizens to own firearms. Sensible gun controls include, among other things registration, proper training and keeping firearms out of the hands of high-risk individuals.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Kevin Fitzmaurice's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:25:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #20: Megan Cea, West Harrison, New York (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #20: Megan Cea, West Harrison, New York
      Rider #20: Megan Cea
      Rider #20: Megan Cea, West Harrison, New York

      WHY I RIDE?

      As an epidemiologist and statistician with the Westchester County Department of Health I spend the majority of my day studying numbers. Specifically, the number of deaths, cases of disease, and hospitalizations among my community members. But for the most part, these deaths and illnesses are due to natural and inevitable causes – cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases. They are a part of life that is inescapable. But when I see the numbers associated with gun violence, my heart stops. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, there were over 8,583 murders by firearm in 2011 – and this doesn’t include accidental deaths, suicides, or those injured but not killed by a bullet.

      To me, 8,583 isn’t just a number; it is 8,583 human lives stolen from our communities too soon, 8,583 families torn asunder – an unfathomable amount of suffering – 8,583 deaths that didn’t have to happen and were for the most part preventable. Gun violence in our nation is an epidemic.

      I ride because I refuse to live in a world where the “right” to own an assault weapon trumps the rights of all Americans to go to the movies, walk through their neighborhoods, and send their children to school without fear they may never return home.

      I ride because I do not want to imagine a future where gun violence is so pervasive that elementary school teachers need to carry firearms and classrooms are treated like battlefields.

      I ride in honor of those 8,583 souls and for the 26 victims and families of Newtown.

      I ride because I won’t accept 8,583 more.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Megan Cea's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:26:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #21: Brian Suto, Oxford, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #21: Brian Suto, Oxford, Connecticut
      Rider #21: Brian Suto
      Rider #21: Brian Suto, Oxford, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      I ride as a student who believes that every student has the right to feel safe in his or her school. I ride because my mom and her elementary school students in Monroe, just a few miles away from Sandy Hook, should not have to question their safety.

      Safety was something that we always expected and took for granted in a school setting. On December 14, 2012, all of us realized that senseless violence could happen anywhere, even in such a quiet town, so close to home. This was the first time a tragedy of such magnitude became personal to me, as I now know that my mom could have been the teacher trying to protect her students, and I could have been the student, locked down in a room with my classmates, hiding from a gunman. It’s a shame that such a horrific incident was so preventable.

      I ride because I want to help in any way I can to make this country a better, safer place for everyone. I want the 26 Sandy Hook families to know that I care, that WE care. Being a part of Team 26 allows me to have a voice in creating awareness and affecting change, not just for the community around me, but also for the entire country. It is an honor to have the opportunity to make such a necessary contribution.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Brian Suto' s Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:28:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #22: Matt Emeott, Woodbury, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #22: Matt Emeott, Woodbury, Connecticut
      Rider #22: Matt Emeott
      Rider #22: Matt Emeott, Woodbury, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      When we were asked to write a few paragraphs about why we are riding, I thought of the same reasons the others said....

      I thought about the victims. I thought about the first responders who have to live with images they will never get out of their heads and I thought of parents having to make decisions about what to do with holiday presents their child would never open. I thought about traffic jams caused by scores of media descending on our towns to film funerals and I thought about my girlfriend's mother Kathy who had passed away in September and how each member of the victim's family must be struggling with the same inability to grasp the idea that someone they love is gone.

      I thought about the statistics concerning gun ownership, the percentages of guns recovered by police bought through legal means and I even thought about Nancy Lanza's horribly misguided attempts to connect with a son she knew was disturbed, but had no obvious means of getting to treatment.

      All of these things are true. I am riding for those reasons....but I'm also riding this for me.

      I'm riding to quell the anger I feel at myself for ever having spent one dime in a store who refuses to sell certain fashion magazines or music CDs (ironically, for "moral purposes") yet has no problem "rolling back prices" on something who's designers were given a product brief which basically read: "create a firearm which matches as close as legally possible the performance, look, feel and characteristics of a military or police tactical weapon....but make sure it can be priced for sale in mass market channels."

      I am riding to alleviate my own disgust that I could have enabled this country's addiction to firearms through my own inactions. I saw the same news reports you did about Columbine, about the Amish school, about VA Tech, about Fort Hood....the list goes on but I didn't do anything. I didn't write an email and certainly didn't call my senator asking them to do anything about it. I just rationalized it away and convinced myself it couldn't happen here....only then it did. Our little corner of the country had been violated less than 12 miles from my house and I was heartbroken. It was as if I thought unattended farm stands and Memorial Day parades somehow made us immune to this epidemic.

      The morning of Dec 14th I woke up, The Today Show was on and the local news broke in saying "We are getting reports of a shooting at a school in Newtown.".....and my first thoughts were "I guess some asshole had a custody dispute with his ex". Then I made my coffee, ate my breakfast and went for a ride.

      I got back to find it wasn't a guy and his ex, it was 20 children and 6 teachers/administrators. Then I spent the rest of the day running down the list of friends who might-just-maybe have kids who went to Sandy Hook School or who might work there and I meekly reached out to them. News slowly worked its way out that someone in our cycling community had lost their daughter and the next day I received an email from my neighborhood association saying that principal Dawn Hochsprung had lived in my neighborhood for 8 years.

      So, yes, I'm riding this for Dawn, for Mary, for Lauren, for Ann Marie, for Rachel and for Victoria. For Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, Ana, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin and Allison...but I'm also riding this for me.

      I'm riding this to forgive myself for becoming so apathetic and indifferent to the violence in this country that I could allow myself to simply shrug off "some asshole and his ex" and go about my day like it was any other day. Perhaps you can accept that about yourself, but I can no longer accept that about me. That should have been catalyst enough.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Matthew Emeott's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:29:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #23: John Ford, West Harrison, New York (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #23: John Ford, West Harrison, New York
      Rider #23: John Ford
      Rider #23: John Ford, West Harrison, New York

      WHY I RIDE?

       I'm riding for the fight against special interests and for the greater good of the citizens of this country.

      I'm riding in memory of the 26 innocent children and educators lost on December 14, 2012.

      I'm riding because I know the great majority of the citizens of United States are reasonable people and support a reasonable, multi-faceted approach to reduce gun violence.

      This includes banning the military inspired assault rifles that have become the mass murder's weapon of choice.

      I'm riding because this is the right thing to do.

      In the year 2000 my classmates and I came face-to-face with a shooter and by chance we were not injured because of the shooters' decision to target two people that day, he only succeeded in taking his own life that day. *

      I’m riding because I want to make a real difference and now is the time.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      John Ford's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:35:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #24: Aidan Charles, Middletown, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #24: Aidan Charles, Middletown, Connecticut
      Rider #24: Aidan Charles
      Rider #24: Aidan Charles, Middletown, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      I ride as a husband, son, and brother of educators who have dedicated themselves to making a difference in the lives of children. I ride as a future father who wants his children to share the same joy and safety that I experienced at school.

      I can't fathom a day where any one of my family members wake up one morning to go to work and never return due to gun violence at a school. While I have ridden almost every day for the almost 15 years, I don't think I have ever had the opportunity to ride my bike for such a meaningful purpose. If getting on my bike and riding can make a difference and open people’s eyes to the changes that need to be made, I will ride for as long and far as I can.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Aidan Charles's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:37:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rider #25: Heather Peck, Newtown, Connecticut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber
      Rider #25: Heather Peck, Newtown, Connecticut
      Rider #25: Heather Peck
      Rider #25: Heather Peck, Newtown, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      As a mother I am riding for the hope that my two children can grow up in a more peaceful world. I am there to represent all mothers who wish the same for their children. I am especially there for the mothers who lost their precious children to honor them and show my heartfelt support.

      As a school psychologist I am riding for those beautiful smiling faces that I see coming down the hallway each day and their right to feel safe and secure at school.

      I am riding for those children who may need mental health care so that their needs can be addressed early in life.

      As a resident of Newtown I am riding for the strength of my town and the belief that as a community we can be the turning point and make a big difference in the world.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Heather Peck's Cycling Record at USA Cycling

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:38:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Honorary Rider #26: Chris McDonnell, Sandy Hook (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, bookwoman
      Chris Odonnel (left) and Dr. Begg (right) at The Kick Off Rally for Team 26 - Sandy Hook Rides on Washington
      Chris Mcdonnell (left) and Dr. Begg (right)
      Honorary Team Rider #26: Chris McDonnell, Sandy Hook, Connecticut

      WHY I RIDE?

      On December 14th we lost the love and light of our family, our daughter Grace. Since that day I have made a promise that her life would forever be celebrated, her vision of the world as a beautiful and peaceful place forever honored, and her voice forever heard.

      I ride for HOPE that the moral conscience of our elected representatives has been awaken and will choose action over inaction when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, our children.

      I ride for PEACE and a society that holds itself morally responsible to leave the world a better place where gun violence is not so pervasive.

      I ride for LOVE of the innocence of a child whose life was full of dreams and boundless possibilities.

      I ride for GRACE.

      Grace McDonnell - Daughter of Chris and Lynn McDonnell
      Grace McDonnell - (2005 - 2012) - Daughter of Chris and Lynn McDonnell

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:39:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for keeping us posted, MonteFrank! (5+ / 0-)

    Is there anything we can do to help Team 26?

    Tipped, rec'd, and Tweeted :-)

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by nomandates on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:25:41 AM PDT

  •  How many first graders? (3+ / 0-)

    How many must be sacrificed to appease Wayne LaPierre and the NRA?

    Are there any parents or grandparents willing to offer their children or grandchildren to be slaughtered?

    Why is an amendment that's 224 years old more important than the lives of innocent children?

    How can Republicans look themselves in the mirror as they brush their teeth in the morning, and then go to Congress to vote against, or even filibuster, laws that would protect first graders?

    Ask your Republican congresscritter what s/he has against protecting first graders.

    Note to Boehner and McConnell: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." --Bob Dylan-- (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:41:04 AM PDT

  •  Thank you sir (3+ / 0-)

    From the Eastern Shoreline of CT.
    You may not have know it but you carried me with you to DC. Thanks for the lift!

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 11:10:39 AM PDT

  •  That's an amazing schedule. Thanks for ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, LilithGardener

    keeping us updated.
    Good luck on the ride & on the passage of legislation!

    I share a birthday with John Lennon and Bo Obama.

    by peacestpete on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:46:48 PM PDT

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