ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- Motorcycle riders suited up Saturday for a 125-mile long motorcycle ride, but it was about more than getting a breath of fresh air.
To remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, that is the goal of each and every motorcyclist taking part in the now yearly Hero's Ride. The event started with a plan on how to best honor members of the military, past, present and future, and the idea caught on quickly.
"And in southeast Minnesota, a wonderful committee of people said let's do it together," explains Scott Eggert, the chairman of the Hero's Ride. "Let's build some awareness and continue to keep it out to the people what that cost of freedom is, and those are the names on that wall back there."
Each name of a fallen hero, a difficult reminder of what sacrifices have been made for our country's freedom.
"Continue to allow people to not only visually see but really feel it," says Eggert, "and by being on a motorcycle, you go through these smaller communities and you meet these families that have lost a loved one and we just get to tell them 'We love you and we remember.'"
As the riders prepared to begin their 125-mile journey, the idea of remembering was driven home.
"Every time you stop today, take out your card and look at those names but then look at the faces of those soliders, sailors, airmen, marines and patrol officer who gave the ultimate sacrifice for what we do. Enjoy this day, but enjoy this day for them."
After those words, the riders were ready, set to spread the message of honor and sacrifice and hoping that others soon join their mission.
"I think it's tremendously grown over the years," explains Dianna Beardsley, a rider and Gold Star family, "and if you talk with any of the Gold Star families, our family or Dave and Kay Swenson, one of the biggest things that you'll hear them say is please don't let the people forget that these boys and girls went out and gave their lives voluntarily in support of our country and our freedom."
It is a message as strong as the bikes that they ride.
The Hero's Ride took the riders to stops in Millville and Lake City before completing the ride at the Rochester VFW around 6:00 PM on Saturday. All of the proceeds from Saturday's event goes directly to organizations like the Disabled Veterans of America and the VFW.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Jodi Neyens at (507) 280-5104. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.