Oh, what a beautiful morning…☀🌺, couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather to start the day. Instead of rain we woke to a beautiful sunny day. Much better than last year’s down pour.
We breakfasted in the Spiller Elementary School Cafeteria and enjoyed hot coffee and a good hot breakfast. Spiller rolls out the red carpet for Southern Route riders.
The morning rider’s meeting was held in the Wytheville Memorial Park. The children came out and the rider’s give them small trinkets and gifts before the children lined up to sing to the riders. It’s a favorite of many of the rider’s. The children sang for us and recited the poem Old Glory…
After Wytheville, We had a 95 mile ride over to Montvale Elementary School where we were fed a nice box lunch and enjoyed a patriotic program put on by the children.
It was a short hop over to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. If you haven’t been there it’s worth the out of the way trip. It is an excellent museum/monument to those that gave their lives.
A description of the Overlord battle:
“It is hard to conceive the epic scope of this decisive battle that foreshadowed the end of Hitlers dream of Nazi domination. Overlord was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men.
After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell.
When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.”
Platoon photos were taken at the memorial:
Sorry I could not run fast enough in the heat and humidity to get all the group shots that were taken. If anyone has them, send them to me and I will post them in the next sit-rep. I did manage to get the photo of the Virginia State Police Motor Unit 🤪
After the memorial a quick, easy, beautiful ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains. What a beautiful day to ride the sweeping curves and green hillsides. The smell of honeysuckle or clover was lovely. We’re not sure what we were smelling. If there’s a local Virginian out there that can shed some light on it, we’d appreciate it.
Pulled into the Lynchburg Harley Davidson shop for chicken sandwiches chips and ice cold water and soda. Many riders went t-shirt shopping. Just what we need, another t-shirt😏.
A very important, rip the patch off ceremony was held for a rider. TS had a patch that said, “Vietnam Era” I asked him about his service. He only spent one week in Vietnam and didn’t feel he deserved to wear the “Vietnam Veteran” Patch. I disagreed with him. He answered his country’s call to serve. He went to Vietnam and did what was asked of him. At the Harley Shop he was gifted a new Vietnam Veteran Patch and ripped off the old one to ready his vest for the new patch.
I know for many veterans this is a sore spot. The veterans that did not set boots on the ground in Vietnam feel like second class Veterans, like they didn’t serve “enough”. I feel for them, just as I feel for the Veterans that went to Vietnam, witnessed the horrors of war and returned to a country that spit on them and the service they gave. I don’t have an answer, but I hope that ALL veterans, boots in country Veterans and Veterans that served in other ways know that America appreciates you, your service and your sacrifice.
2nd Platoon Leadership presented their Road Guard with a special thank you gift. This year the Southern Route put together the first ever ALL female platoon leadership. Mind you, the platoon is not made up of all females, just the four leadership members. The Road guard assigned to them, VOLUNTEERED to work with them. Today they presented Caretaker, now to be known as CARE BEAR, a Care Bear of his own. This year’s motto is “we ride with heart”. Thought the Tender Heart Care Bear was a good representation of the 2018 run. Once again, a big thank you to the Road Guards and the job they do to keep us safe and rolling down the road.
It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is day 10 and we arrive in DC. Seems like yesterday we were in Ontario. I hope many of our riders are considering volunteering for leadership jobs next year. We need people to work the fuel team, the staging team, and platoon leadership. If you enjoyed the experience you had this year, please consider returning next year and helping to “Charlie Mike”, “Continue the Mission” it won’t happen without volunteers like you! If interested you can volunteer at RFTW.us.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
256 Miles to D.C., rider’s stay alert, stay vigilant, be safe, God speed!