The day is finally here—completing the mission. Feelings and anticipation are wide and varied among the riders. We first gathered together at the Lincoln Memorial for the annual RFTW picture— of ALL of us. In the past years, this was a chaotic time, as we had to not only get seated (& sit there for quite awhile) but also had to work around the visitors—who were wondering….”what the heck is going on?” But this morning, it went smoothly, even though we were talking among each other & listening to bagpipe music (played by a CR’er who plays beautifully). Once the main picture (& hosts of others taking advantage of the opportunity) was made, we slowly headed towards the Wall. As we walked, many hugs were given, tears were shed, and “See ya’ next year??” was asked over & over again. We’re now at the Wall to witness the RC’s presenting the RFTW plaque at the apex, in honor to the men and women that we rode for. More tears, more hugs, & fewer words this time. Some of the riders are continuing on with the Sandbox Route, which heads out Sunday morning. You could see them already talking & planning about it even yesterday, as Registration had already been set up & ready for them.
As our journey ends for this year, I want to give a sincere Thank You to those riders who contributed pictures & stories of their own on their individual FB pages. And Leif Meisinger did outstanding on the RFTW Southern FB page with his pictures & everything he saw. We all have stories to tell—and they have been humbling, happy, tearful—you name it. Sit-rep postings are only the tip of the iceberg, and I’m honored to have had the chance to help all to catch a glimpse of it. See y’all next year?