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Run for the Wall stops at National D-Day Memorial en route to Washington

Ride honors Vietnam veterans

BEDFORD, Va. – It's a cross-country ride honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

For more than a week, motorcycle-riding veterans have roared their way from California to Washington, D.C., for the 30th annual Run for the Wall.

They ride for those who can't.

For some, all they have left is a memory.

Shannon Spake keeps that memory engraved on a bracelet.

It's the name of her father, who's been missing in action since she was 2 years old.

"He was forced to eject out of the broken aircraft over Laos and, until my first year with Run for The Wall, we didn't know what happened to him," said Spake.

She started this year's ride in Ontario and, although her father has never been found, he is with her for the ride.

"I had the honor and privilege of riding out of Ontario in our missing man formation and knowing that that spot beside me was dedicated to my father, it really put it all in perspective," said Spake.

Although Vietnam veterans didn't receive the welcome home they deserved then, the ride brings out thousands of civilians who wish to thank them for their service.

They were greeted in Wytheville and at Montvale Elementary School with a soldier's welcome.

They left there for a wreath-laying ceremony at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.

"This mission is not about me to me. It's about the 58,000 plus that we ride for. It's the ones that have not been brought home," said Robert Reavis, a Vietnam veteran.

Reavis will have the honor of laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when the riders reach Washington, D.C. 

"That's the greatest honor, public honor, of my life. To me, that's hallowed ground, very hallowed, very special. I am honored beyond belief," said Reavis.

The riders' mission is to make sure no soldier is forgotten.

"And to ride for those who can't, to keep their spirit and memory alive, means the world to me," said Spake.

"We say we will ride till we all come home," said Reavis.

The riders will stay overnight in our area and make it to Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday.


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