Rain doesn’t stop ‘Freedom Riders’ from honoring armed forces

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Despite a little confusion on the start time and morning rain Saturday, 60 bikes, carrying members of the Southern Utah Chapter 961 of the Vietnam Veterans Association and others, left Astragalus Drive, just off Interstate 15 Exit 2, for the 2015 National Armed Forces Day Freedom Ride in Washington County.

“Some who feared rain caught up with us at Wings and Wheels at the Warbird Museum,” said Bruce Solomon, veteran and chairman of the City of St. George Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council.

Organized jointly by Zion Harley Davidson and the Vietnam Veterans Association, The Freedom Ride and the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum’s annual Wings and Wheels event were designed to honor those who serve and have served in the nation’s armed forces.

By the time the Freedom Ride resumed, the collection of riders had grown and 75 bikes motored on through the county.

“(We) got a very much appreciated assist from the Washington City Police at Washington Dam Road,” Solomon said. “We wended our way past Sand Hollow Reservoir to Zion Harley Davidson … for great live classic rock (from Cactus Surfer), delicious burgers, wieners and pulled pork – with all the fixins – and dozens of great prize giveaways.”

National Armed Forces Day was established at the prompting of President Harry S. Truman that citizens might come together and thank the nation’s military members for their patriotic service. As branches of service were unified under the Department of Defense, then Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced Armed Forces Day in 1949 to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.

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Resources

  • 2015 National Armed Forces Day | Facebook event page
  • Vietnam Veterans of America, Southern Utah Chapter 961 | Website
  • Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum | Website

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