Patriotism & Honor;
They still exist!
I left my home a little before 11:00 today and enjoyed a beautiful ride past Park City. June is the month when our mountains are green and in full bloom so the scenery was spectacular. I continued on past Coalville and was overtaken by the sight of the Echo Reservoir. The green grass on the hills was waving in the wind and the water shimmered right up to its grassy shores. It was a beautiful day to be alive.
The purpose of my ride was to meet a handful of Patriot Guard Riders at a remote rest stop and escort The Wall that Heals into Ogden. The closest turnaround that would get us to the rest stop was just over 18 miles beyond it. When I passed the gathering place I couldn't see anyone waiting there, however, about 8 bikes in formation were approaching it and I craned my head back to verify that they were stopping there just before I rode out of sight. When I looked forward again I was struck by the sight of a half mile long string of headlight shining out of the oncoming asphalt; another 40 or so motorcycles. This group was followed by another almost as large. I then counted another 70 bikes straggling solo or in small groups along that 18 mile stretch.
When I finally arrived, I soon discovered that this was not just a PGR event but was attended by almost every bike organization in both Utah and western Wyoming to include the Utah Highway Patrol. At my estimation there were at least 300 motorcycles waiting for one semi carrying a fiberglass wall. Many bikes were adorned with flags. Some were fancy custom bikes, one had murals depicting scenes from WWII to Iraq, many had stickers or flags representing a branch of service, but most were just common bikes with common American owners.
When the truck arrived we formed up and began our 70 mile escort. The UHP in the lead was followed by 5 PGR in the missing man formation and then The Wall. The rest of the PGR decided to wait until the end of the formation to avoid any fight for position near the truck. I didn't see the truck again until we arrived at our destination; the escort was much too long for that.
Throughout the event cars and trucks from oncoming traffic signaled with their horns. Even a train let out a long, loud blast while we traveled side by side. News helicopters flew overhead. The Highway Patrol had all onramps blocked and farmers stood in their fields next to the highway watching our parade. Some had advance notice and stood with flags. Every overpass was lined with stopped cars with their occupants standing outside waving; again, some had flags.
When we approached the mall where The Wall will be displayed this week we were greeted by a long flag line. I notice a man in a jacket and tie that said business professional. There were men, women, and children. I saw a Boy Scout and a Cub Scout; they received a crisp and proper salute from me.
A lot of commotion was made over a fiberglass wall in a semi-trailer today, but it wasn't for a wall, it was for over fifty five thousand people whose names are on that wall.