May 14, 2016
2016 UAW Veterans Ride for Freedom/Run to the Wall.
May 28th, the front lawn of the UAW local 2069 union hall in Dublin, will become hallowed ground as their Veterans Committee will host the annual Ride for Freedom/Run to the Wall Memorial Ceremony. The event is held just prior to the departure where the UAW veterans host about 200 motorcycle riders from all across the NRV and states as far away as Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina to participate in Memorial Day weekend activities in Washington D.C., and join hundreds of thousands more during the Rolling Thunder National POW/MIA rally.
Humbly recognizing their 25th year of hosting this event, committee chairman, Mark Peterson states... “as special as this day is...it is a hard reminder of the loss of life and sacrifices to keep our nation free and that Freedom has never been free, Peterson continues and said “25 years reminds me of how young we once all were when we started this, more importantly, it reminds me of the many generations of families and organizations that have been working on issues concerning our military, our disable veterans, their families, and the POW/MIA issue. Wouldn't it be a real American dream if our voices were not needed, if every issue of veteran’s homelessness, military and veteran suicide, VA Healthcare, the POW/MIA issue and the list goes on. were really 100% addressed... and real working solutions were in place for the families of our MIA and for every military man or woman, every veteran who ever gave the oath to this country to defend our freedom, our way of life, were really taken care of should they need it, we are speaking for them in hopes our voices touch the hearts and conscience of our government legislative officials and Pentagon budget makers”.
The group annually reserves a block of motel rooms in the D C area and joins a massive but peaceful demonstration of veteran riders and patriots from all over America and the free world. Peterson continues and adds, “this year we have filled 85 motel rooms in Manassas, we'll be taking a large group that represents the care, concerns and unity from Southwest Virginia that we have for our military, their families and veterans. Historically SW Virginia has legacy of producing some of the finest military men and women to ever have served. More time than not, after-wards they bring their leadership back to their communities and serve us here. Were proud of where we come, of the people and the support and proud to represent our part of the state”.
Committee member Eric Patton says, “as wonderful of an occasion this is, it's sadden by the reality that we still have families all over America who still after decades have no answers of what happen to their sons, daddies or husbands from Vietnam. It's a long history but a fact, that live prisoners of war were left behind after the Vietnam, Korean and WWII. This is how Rolling Thunder started”.
The Memorial Ceremony will start at 8:00 am, on Saturday May 28th at the UAW union hall in Dublin. The program includes, speaking by UAW members and veterans Mark Peterson and Jeff Walke, 2 of the event originators, live music, bag-piper, 21 gun and cannon salute as well as Taps. VFW 1184 will post the colors.
The veterans committee and UAW local 2069 invites and encourages everyone to take part in this program and make use of the many different Memorial Day activities slated throughout the NRV during the weekend.