As I stand here in our Nations Capital, surrounded by a thousand Patriots, Heroes, Brother and Sisters, I have to reflect on what we have just done for the past ten days. To many, it would seem foolish. WHY would we go to such lengths to “remember” those that have fallen in the defense of our country? The short answer is this: Without their sacrifices, we would not have the Nation and freedoms that we take for granted. WHY would we go to such great lengths to “remember” our Missing In Action? After all, they have been missing for 50 years or more. For this there IS no “short” answer. For each of those MIA, there is a Family still waiting for an answer. They still hold out hope. Maybe not that their family member will come home alive, but just as importantly, that there will be closure as to their fate, and maybe, their remains can be brought back home, to American soil, to rest in honored glory.
I am finding it hard to put into words just how important events like Run For The Wall are for our nation. If we can raise just a little bit of awareness about the plight of our Veterans, and if we can be a “wake up call” to our nation’s Leaders to finally do SOMETHING for our MIA, then everything that we have done is worth it.
For the past ten days, I have seen grown Men hold each other and weep. I have witnessed WWII Veterans salute Vietnam Veterans. I have seen school children run up to our Riders and hug them, saying “Thank You!” I have personally experienced an incrdible love and brotherhood. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with true Heroes, and been honored that they would seek me out just to ask “How are you today?”
In a few days, when I have rested and can adequately process all that the Midway Route was this year, I will write a bit more. There are so many little stories that I have not had the time to tell that I think are important to understanding this Mission. But for now, I will simply close with a Thank You to our Midway Route Leaders, support staff, and of course our Riders. I have tried my best to tell YOUR stories, and I am honored that you would trust me with this task.
So for today, I will leave you with one final image. This is our entire RFTW Family. But we have grown so close over the past ten days that I am sure that all of our Midway Route Riders will be able to identify each other.