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Southern Route – Day 11 – Mission Accomplished – Washington D.C.

Today began early with staging in the Holiday Inn underground parking lot for the ride into Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). Run for the Wall is the only organization that is allowed to ride motorcycles into ANC. We are given permission for 400 motorcycles to ride in. All bikes must enter together and exit together. The FNG’s are given first priority to ride in to ANC. I am allowed to go as the social media rep. I am live on Facebook as we ride in and for the wreath laying. The videos are available on the official RFTW facebook page.

The ride into Arlington

Four selected riders are given the honor of laying a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This year, Shirley Scott, long time supporter of RFTW was selected as the wreath layer for the southern route. I wrote about Shirley in an earlier post. She is a long time RFTW volunteer and works tirelessly all year long in support of veterans.

RFTW lays the wreath at Arlington

Every year when I visit ANC with RFTW, I sit on the same park bench. Every year a veteran comes and sits by me and I have the opportunity to make a new friend. This year, I met Hacksaw, he met his Army buddy this year on the run. They haven’t seen each other or spoken in 50 years. Through tears he shared what a grand reunion they have had. He was in a motorcycle accident a few years back and never thought he would be able to ride again. How grateful he is to be at ANC and to be on the run. What an honor to meet such an American Hero.

After the laying of the wreath, riders return to their bikes to ride over to the Lincoln Memorial for the group photo of all three routes.

The southern route riders were asked to sign the “Together we Ride” banner. Pictured here holding the signed banner, are Southern Route leadership; Bugs, Captain America, BigVic and Slacker . Thank you for your service, gentlemen.

After the photo, riders walk over to the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial for the laying of the mission accomplished plaque and to pay tribute to those whose names are engraved upon the wall.

2019 Mission Accomplished🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

If you’re interested in learning a little more about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…

In closing this Memorial Day Weekend:

“They do not need our praise. They do not need that our admiration should sustain them. There is no immortality that is safer than theirs. We come not for their sakes but for our own, in order that we may drink at the same springs of inspiration from which they themselves drank. Woodrow Wilson, 1914

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