Thunder Roads Magazine MO/So. IL 2017-November - Page 36

Wall 2 Wall Flag Escort By Lelia Watermon I’m sure by now you’ve heard what happened Sept 16th, 2017 as a huge part of history was in the making and ended up in Perryville, MO, by the help of many. It started with a group of men and women from the Department of Missouri American Legion Riders who rode to Washing- ton D.C. to do a flag exchange at the Vietnam Wall Memo- rial, escorting the flag to Strasberg, VA to Charleston, WV to Evansville, IN, heading towards Arnold, MO arriving in Perryville, MO. Once they arrived along with 2200 motor- cycles, cars & trucks to be greeted by the gateway of our beautiful flag waving over the highway by our Firemen. It was a sight to be seen standing there for the 7 mile group of men and women on their bikes to pass under the flag. It made you proud to be an American. This is the spot where our new Missouri National Veteran’s Memorial- America’s Vietnam Wall would make its home. Much to my surprise, Ozzie Smith-baseball hall of fame supported us with his presence, as did Jackie Smith- NFL football player. Ozzie and Jackie each autographed a baseball and football for the giveaway. Jackie Smith sang “God Bless America” & The National Anthem and every person had their hands to their chest. It truly was an honor to meet them both. In fact Bentley the Wonder Dog seemed to have found his newest friends when he met both of these men. There are truly so many people that had a hand in this event; Representative Rick Francis gave his blessing and words of support, opening prayer by Bruce Owen, closing prayer by Robert Blake, and Kate Martin did a fine job as well. Jim Rosenberg & the Ameri- can Legion Riders had the honor of riding to Washington and back to present the flag to its home forever. It was truly a sight to see, the honor and dignity of these men and women. A HUGE thank you to Jim & Charlene Eddleman for Thunder Roads Magazine 34 their donation. Thanks to all the military men and women, wives husbands, children who played a part in this his- toric event on Sept 16, 2017. Just to name a few groups, Surdyke H-D for their ongoing support in memory of Ca- det Thomas Surdyke as they presented the Custom Street Glide that will be given away. Robinson Construction for their help, Red, White, & Blue Ladies, the Girl Scouts, In Country M/C, Fire Fighter M/C, Fire & Iron M/C from St. Louis, American Legion Riders, American Legion Post, Desert Storm Navy, Jefferson Barracks, Patriot Guard, Missouri Legions, Police, Hwy Patrol, EMS, Perryville Fire Station, and so many more. Those involved in making this dream come true from the Missouri National Veterans Me- morial Committee are as follows, Mike Lundy, Todd Huber, Don Fulford, Vicki Lundy, Jim Eddleman, Frank Robinson, Russell Crader, Brent Buerck, Paul Gard & Roger Wibben- meyer. Let’s not forget the fine job the Military Commanders did in raising the United States of America flag along with the POW flag, reminding everyone that “No One is Forgot- ten”. Thank you for having Thunder Roads Magazine be part in this once in a lifetime moment. Thunder Roads Magazine 35