Saturday, September 12, 2009
Patriot Guard Riders!
Our visit the other day to the Vietnam Traveling Wall included learning more about the Patriot Guard Riders, meeting one fine gentleman and his bike! Sue visited with him, letting him know how thankful they were for the Patriot Guard Riders that accompanied Chester W. Hosford to his final resting place. After the funeral, Sue had personally thanked each Rider that day. Each Rider feels honored to take time out of his or her life to honor a fallen soldier and their family.
It all started in early August of 2005 in Kansas. The American Legion Riders chapter 136 from Kansas was appalled to hear that a fallen hero's memory was being tarnished by misguided religious protestors at funerals. From there it fell into place a nationwide organization with a mission to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission has two basic objectives: 1. Show sincere respect for fallen heroes, their families, and their communities. 2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors. This is accomplished through strictly legal and non-violent means.
The Patriot Guard riders help law enforcement if need be at intersections, etc. so that the funeral procession can proceed uninterrupted. They also ride escort at other times; such as when soldiers come home from a tour of duty. If you have never seen them in action, you will be amazed when you do. It is beautiful!!!! Flag brackets welded to the backs of some bikes for the flags. Not all bikes are Harley's, some are new and some are old. Same can be said about the riders: some are young, and some are older. You do not need to have been a veteran to belong. It doesn't matter where you're from or what your income is; you don't even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.