Arlington & The Vietnam Memorial
Riders began staging their bikes in the underground parking garage of The Holiday Inn at approximately 6:00 AM. The Riders meeting took place at 7:45 am. I posted videos of the riders’ meeting on the official “Run for the Wall” Facebook page if you are interested in watching it. I also posted videos of the ride into Arlington on my “Run for the Wall-A Journey to the Vietnam Memorial” if you would like to watch it.
Having Santa Ed participate in the wreath laying made it extra special. The guards were so kind and respectful to the RFTW honor guard, explaining what was expected of them. Can you imagine having such an honor? Wow! I live streamed the wreath laying and posted it to both sites. It is long but worth every second. The video shows the instructions from the guard all the way through to the laying of the wreath. The guard even allowed a few of us to stand in the area reserved for the press. Made for great footage. I was honored just to stand there. Watch the video!
After the wreath laying the RFTW riders were escorted out of Arlington National Cemetery over to the Lincoln Memorial. The riders are allowed to park their bikes on the lawn. You’ll only ever see bikes parked on the lawn once a year.
Riders then walk over to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the annual group photo. It was not too hot this year which is a pleasant change from years past.
After the photo is the short walk to The Vietnam Memorial. The “Mission Accomplished” plaque is placed at the apex of the Wall.
The biographies and mementos that have been carried across the country are also left at The Wall. I personally carried two biographies, a treasured memento from a Vietnam Veteran in my American Legion Riders Post back home and my necklace of PGR dog tags. This is a very emotional time of the mission as buddies names are found on the Wall. As a Run for the Wall family, we protect those that need to release pent up emotions, offering comfort and privacy from curious on lookers.
The other event at The Wall is the turning of the FNG pin. Here Old School is shown turning the pin of riders from his platoon.
This has taken forever to write on my iPad. Just a couple more things and I need to call it a night. Going to try and get my computer to the App,e shop tomorrow. Maybe I will be back in business tomorrow.
The Southen Route collected 10 cases of toiletries to donate to the Tuscaloosa VAMC. Thank you Shirley for spearheading the project.
And the final numbers are in Southern Route finished with a total registration of 516 riders!!!
More tomorrow! Good night & God Bless
Kristine “Eyes” Wood
Too tired to proof read, excuse the errors????????