The 20th Ride For Freedom. Hard to believe that it has been 20 years. How much has happened and changed. All of those faces and loved ones as we have aged, those we have lost along the way and still mourn. Another day of honor and remembrance. A day of seeing so many friends, many hugs to be shared. Bike after bike rolling in over a 5 hour period of time. That low rumble, a beautiful background sound to the laughter and fellowship taking place all around us. A prayer for a blessing of the bikes and all of the riders. The Ride begins. A slow procession down the road, all riding as one, the rumble of engines the voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves. What an honor. What a blessing. Entering the Diamond in Meadville, listening to the speakers who share their stories with such passion. Passion for their brother and sister veterans. Passion for America. The ceremony ends and folks depart. Leaving behind a quietness. As the quietness grows, we take time to settle. To breathe. To lean on each other's shoulders. This third day has brought with it a tiredness. Bringing many emotions to the fore front. Emotions that have been tamped down. More hugs. Tears shed upon each others shoulders. Words of love and comfort. Comrades. Brothers. Sisters. Family. Community. Healing. This is why we are here. This is who we are. America's veterans. America's families. This small slice of our nation. This is America.
20th Annual Ride For Freedom