Yesterday it was the Patriot Guard Riders honoring returning soldiers. Today, it is the Second Brigade Motorcycle Club honoring all vets but especially those in the First Brigade, our peers who served in Vietnam and were not well received when they returned in the 60’s and 70’s. (There was no Patriot Guard Riders in those days.) That generation is honored these days by clubs such as the Second Brigade Motorcycle Club, Vietnam Vets motorcycle club and Legacy Vets motorcycle club.
On this day, May 15, all who served were honored in the annual Armed Forces Day ride, and it would appear that there may be hope for the next generation to honor veterans as well. A young pair of boys waved and saluted as the riders started their ride. Personally, I found it very touching.
The day was perfect for a spring ride and so more than 100 riders covered Burleigh and McLean counties on their fun run, a ride of fellowship and of fundraising. They hit Washburn, Mercer, Wing and ended in Bismarck where they started.
The day was not only about remembering vets and socializing, it was also to raise money for the POW/MIA monument to be erected at North Dakota’s Veterans Cemetery at Mandan.
By day’s end, nearly $3,000 was raised in the fun run, the silent auction and a large personal contribution from the owners of Lucky’s in Bismarck where the ride ended.
I don’t know if this is just a local phenomenon or if it’s happening elsewhere, but I know in the Bismarck/Mandan area veteran and military support motorcycle clubs are becoming more visible and more popular. What do you see in your area?