Sandbox Route 2020 “VIRTUAL” Sitrep Day 3
Day 3, May 26, 2020 – Lafayette, IN, to Marseilles, IL, 191 miles
We departed Gilman and headed to Starved Rock Harley-Davidson in Ottawa, IL, for lunch. As always, the stops are more than hospitable to all of us. After the lunch break, we staged by platoons to ride the 11 miles to Marseilles and the Middle East Conflicts Wall.
The Middle East Conflicts Wall – our destination. The MECW commemorates the service men and women who have lost their lives in worldwide conflicts since 1967. Dedicated in 2004, the project was conceived by Tony Cutrano and Jerry Kuczera and built with donated material and labor. It’s the first of its kind to give honor to the fallen by name while a conflict is ongoing. Names on the wall include fallen heroes from such diverse locations as Panama, Lebanon, the Balkans, Grenada, Somalia, terrorist attacks in Italy, Greece, an Israeli attack on the USS Liberty and the current conflicts in the Middle East.
The Middle East Conflicts Wall is a memorial you have to want to see, to go visit. It’s not in the middle of a big city; it’s actually kind of isolated. But it’s a memorial well worth visiting, and I believe all of us can agree on that.
Memorials bring many emotions to the surface. It can also be a not-so-kind reminder to those who have served. There are those who need our help in healing, and visiting these memorials and sharing friendship, a hand, or a hug may be able to help them along that road.
Be proud that you’ve been a part of the RFTW, Sandbox Route, Wall 2 Wall mission. You can stand up and say, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.” You’ve done it, and all of us hope to see you again next year.
Signing off for this year,
Photos for the Sandbox Virtual SITREPS courtesy of PhotosbyJerry.smugmug.com