“They deserve to be honored”: bikers crossing the country to honor fallen soldiers

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – This summer, a biker caravan travels the country for four weeks to honor fallen soldiers in a unique way.

A commemorative flame crosses the country to honor fallen soldiers.

Yesterday, the 12th Annual Memorial Torch Motorcycle Ride stopped in Sioux Falls to honor four fallen soldiers in South Dakota.

One is First Lieutenant Thomas Martin of Huron.

“He was an army brat and he continued to wear army boots,” said Candy and Edmund Martin, Thomas Martin’s parents. “He was drafted for three years before going to the United States Military Academy at West Point and served for approximately two years before being killed in action in Iraq in October 2007.”

American Legion Post 15, VFW Post 628 and others greeted the Orgeon to Virginia motorbike trailer.

“I think this is a great opportunity,” said Bill Peters, American Legion post warrant officer in Sioux Falls. “This is a great opportunity to recognize fallen soldiers as well as veterans.

“I won’t say it’s closing, but it must be a really satisfying feeling for families to know that their loved ones are remembered. So it must be great for the families, ”said Gary Wolkow, American Legion Department Commander in South Dakota.

The runners honor a total of 75 soldiers this year. The trip will end when they put out the flame at Arlington National Cemetery.

“We not only honor those killed in action,” said Bill Filley, civilian motorcyclist in tribute to the motorcycle. “As long as they’re on active duty, we’re honoring accidents on base, home accidents on leave, self-inflicted injuries, which really raised awareness of that, they signed up, they said. they would serve. And we owe them like everyone else.

“We are honoring someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation,” said Mike Poirier, veteran tribute motorcyclist. “And whether it’s in combat, whether it’s in a car accident, it doesn’t matter. They served their country and, I mean, they deserve to be honored and they deserve to be remembered. And that’s what we’re here for. It’s just a privilege to be able to do that.

Before coming to Sioux Falls, the runners also stopped at Rapid City to honor two other South Dakotas who served.

About Frances R. Smith

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