There are some experiences in life that can only be described as WOW! Tuesday, I had the distinct privilege and honor of joining the Patriot Guard motorcycle escort, as The Wall That Heals came into Blue Springs.
This morning began with a brisk ride from Blue Springs to Concordia with Blue Springs City Councilman Grant Bowerman. When we arrived at the Travel America Truck Stop in Concordia, the crowd of motorcyclists had already begun to assemble. By the time everyone had arrived, there were well over 200 motorcycles and their riders ready and willing to provide the escort.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s department and law enforcement agencies from all across the region, helped to manage traffic and to safely close the west bound interstate so that we could focus on honoring the 58,000+ men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War to protect our freedoms.
We were KSU (Kick Stands Up) at 12:15pm and began the process of entering Interstate 70. Approximately 100 of us lead The Wall That Heals semi truck onto the interstate. Councilman Bowerman and I were stationed only a few motorcycles ahead of the actual Wall. The remainder of the escort followed the Wall along the route. The sky was blue and the temperatures were perfect for a fall ride.
David Miller, the organizer for the Patriot Guard, emphasized to us that safety was of the utmost importance. The formation was staggered with 2 seconds between each motorcycle in line with each other and one second between motorcycles across from each other. No side by side riding.
As we departed from Concordia we began to encounter people alongside the highway waving, saluting, and displaying the American Flag. Almost every overpass had people on it, waving and showing their support. As we came over the hill approaching the Grain Valley exit we could see emergency lights on the overpass. Area Firefighters and Emergency Medical Personnel had set up on the overpass and were there to greet us.
The closer we got to Blue Springs, more and more people lined the road and overpasses to cheer on the procession. At Adams Dairy Parkway we turned south to 40 Highway and then west to Highway 7, where we were greeted by flag waving citizens of our community all the rest of the way to Pink Hill Park.
These gatherings of the people are an integral part of American life. There is no experience like receiving the support of your fellow citizens and honoring the traditions that make our country great.
Come join us in honoring the Veterans of the Vietnam War by visiting Pink Hill Park over the next few days. The Wall and its accompanying museum will be in Pink Hill Park from 6:55am Thursday September 30 through 6pm Sunday October 3rd. More information can be found at http://www.bluespringswallthatheals.net.