The 31st edition of the cross country motorcycle ride from California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington called Run for the Wall stopped in downtown Junction City Sunday evening.
Approximately 400 riders traveled from I-70 up South Washington Street to Heritage Park where the Master of Ceremonies, Phyllis Fitzgerald began the ceremony by telling the riders that many did not make it back home and their sacrifices would never be forgotten. The ride helps bring attention to those who are listed as POW / MIA’s. Geary County Commissioner Ben Bennett welcomed the riders on behalf of the Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Keynote speaker Lt. General ( Retired ) and Executive Director of the Governor’s Military Council, Perry Wiggins told the audience during the ceremony in Heritage Park that freedom is not free. It comes at a very high price. “This event personifies the ethos, we will never leave a fallen comrade. We will never forget those who served with us on the battlefield.”
Wiggins told those in the ride or who have worn the uniform of this nation wouldn’t forget, “Today we fulfill a sacred obligation, a responsibility, one that for many here today was forged through sweat, tears and blood on battlefields all over the world.”
The 100th anniversary of allied cooperation between U.S. Forces and Australian forces was observed, numerous awards were presented including to local organizations and businesses supporting the riders, Vietnam Veteran lapel pins were presented, and the Broken Spoke Wreath was laid in front of the Kansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Heritage Park.
The riders are staying in Junction CIty Sunday night and traveling east to Missouri on Monday.
There are three Run for the Wall routes. Junction City is on the central route for the riders.