Grandpah's Diary
Ride for the Wall

 

This is an annual event for veterans, family, active duty and friends and this is my diary from the 2007 Ride For The Wall

First let me give you the mission statement. To promote healing among all veterans and their families and friends, to call for the accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), and to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars.

I joined the ride when they arrived in Limon, CO with a few friends. The evening plan was a dinner in Hugo at VFW Post 6612.There was a ceremony and a fly over by Blackhawks.

The next morning we lined up for the next leg of 342miles. I found out that a CO state representative was riding with us to DC. I did get to talk with him several times but no politics. We arrived at Burlington, Co gassed up and the police escorted us through town. Next stop at Oakley, KS for gas and lunch. Again escorted by police. The next two stops were Hayes and Salina, KS. At Salina, we were escorted to a park for ceremonies and a BBQ.

The next morning 20 of us went to the VA hospital in Topeka to visit and talk with the patients. It was a very emotional experience being with them. Some were finally going home. We met up with the rest of the ride later. Our last stop for the day was at Wentzville, MO. We were escorted through town to VFW Post 5327 for ceremonies and dinner. I camped at the VFW and had Showers at the GM plant.

The next morning we left the VFW with a police escort to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Wentzville. This memorial is the first erected memorial. We left there to Jefferson Barracks and the VA Hospital. We stopped at Corydon for the night with dinner provided.

The fist stop was at a VAMC in KY. This is where I met a WWI vet, 106 years young. He has met the ride for 19 years.

We departed there and went to the Kentucky Memorial. It is a sundial that puts a shadow on a name for the year, month, and time of death of the veteran. We stopped for the night at Hurricane, KY.

We departed for Charleston, WV. We were escorted by police to the capitol and parked in front of the capitol. There were ceremonies and pictures with the Governor. We departed for Rainelle with Governor riding with us. At Rainelle there was a parade and we were in the parade. The reception was very emotional. They do this every year. The school and town have adopted the ride. The kids asked for your autograph. They provided lunch with the ceremonies. All the donations that is collected by the ride along the way goes for the kids and the school. This year it was $11,000 but with anonymous donor who matches it was $22,000. You would have to talk to me about what the money does for these kids.

The next day we left from Lewisburg for DC. 40 miles from DC we had police escort all the way to the hosting hotel.

On Saturday we grouped up to go to the Arlington cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We were the only motorcycle group allowed to ride into the cemetery. From there we went to the Lincoln Memorial for a group photo. Then we went to the Vietnam Memorial. It took some help to go to the panels of friends I knew.

The next morning we gathered for the parade with Rolling Thunder. As we turned onto Constitution Ave, we went from two abreast to 4 abreast around the mall.

The route back was easy. South through VA to NC and Deals Gap. Through TN, AR, OK , and home.

The entire ride was side by side at 5 mph below the speed limit except where you needed to be single file. It is a little stressful until you get used to the other riders.

For more pictures from Grandpah's trip found in our photo gallery, "Click Here"