THE TIGER TIMES
THE WALL THAT HEALS Steve Rides With Fellow Patriots to Vietnam War Moving Memorial E very motorcycle rider knows how powerful we can be when we band together. We transform movements and offer a community to those who need it most. This past summer, I had the opportunity to ride in yet another show of dedication and honor. On July 2, 2019, I participated in a very solemn tribute to military servicemen and servicewomen with other riders, first responders, gold-star families, and well-wishers at Woodstock Harley Davidson in Illinois. The tribute featured a signing of the U.S. national anthem as well as moving speeches. Finally, we all mounted our bikes and rode together to “The Wall That Heals” in West Dundee, Illinois. A moving monument that has traveled across the country, “The Wall That Heals” is an education center replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. At the permanent memorial, more than 58,000 names are etched onto granite walls in a simple yet powerful memoriam of the ultimate sacrifice made by our fellow Americans. In 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund — the same group that funded the permanent wall in Washington D.C. and that advocates for VietnamWar veterans — unveiled the replica. Since then, it has toured 600 communities across the nation, giving thousands of citizens the opportunity to remember, connect, and find peace. On our way to visit the replica wall in its temporary home, we noticed many patriots waving flags, saluting, and smiling. There were too many to count, but their presence was powerful. Just before the end of our ride, we passed under two firetruck hook- and-ladder units with American flags attached to the ends of the extended ladders.
members and their families make is unmatched, and seeing hordes of citizens honoring that service is something I will never forget.
A wise person once said, “We may not know them all, but we owe them all.” No truer words have ever been spoken about the selfless men and women who devote their careers and lives to protecting our country, our families, and the freedoms we enjoy every day. Their dedication shapes our lives and gives us the freedom to ride in their honor. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s event that paid a special gratitude to the organizers of “The Wall That Heals.”Thank you for bringing this moving tribute to our Midwestern home. –Steve Graef
The weather was perfect for a ride, and the event was a beautiful tribute. The dedication to this country that our nation’s military
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