Photos and Story by BlackJack
“I figure if they fought in the rain, we can ride in the rain,” said Shirley Robinson who had just arrived at Legend H-D. She and her husband Roby had ridden in the first FRMR in 2004.
Hanging from handlebars, coat sleeves and any other available spot were red, white & blue Fred Ross Memorial Run 2008 ribbons commemorating this year’s ride. Many also bore a yellow ribbon, signifying that the rider was a veteran. The yellow ribbons were as abundant as the Fred Ross ribbons. The crowd was estimated at 150-200 bikes and riders.
The Fred Ross Memorial Run is a ride directly to the WA Veterans Home in Retsil, housing more than 250 veterans. Riders and residents shared in an outdoor Memorial ceremony, thanking those who served our country and paid the ultimate price. Imagine listening to the Star Spangled Banner being sang, while the metallic ticking from over 100 hot bikes was playing in the background making for a most unique and harmonious concert. Words of remembrance and thanks were spoken by many.
Attendees were given an opportunity to step forward and state the name of a loved one to be honored. As each name was mentioned, the entire crowd repeated the name in unison. It was a very moving tribute remembering those who have passed.
After the ceremony, riders headed back under sunny skies to Legend H-D for a BBQ and music by Knucklehead. The highlight of my day was meeting Vietnam Veteran Mike Allison (Army). He and many other residents of Retsil were driven by bus to Legend H-D to join the party. Mike is quite the colorful character and it was my honor to meet him.
Mark the Fred Ross Memorial Run on your calendar. You’ll cherish the opportunity to take part in remembering those who gave all for the United States, as well as walking shoulder to shoulder with those who made it home.