Memorial Day 'Run For The Wall' rides into Wytheville

Cross-country motorcycle ride is in memory of veterans missing in action

By Taj Simmons - Reporter

WYTHEVILLE, Va. - A massive motorcycle ride for veterans missing in action stopped in Wytheville on its way to the Capitol.

The Run For The Wall is an annual 12-day cross-country ride from California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Five hundred people participated in the ride this year, including some veterans wearing the bracelets of veterans who went MIA.

"This is why we ride," said Billie "Bugs" Dunlap, a retired Navy captain who has participated in the Run For The Wall for a decade. "We ride for those who can't."

The route stops in Wytheville every year and former Wytheville mayor Trent Crewe is among the riders. Crewe says the town always shows its patriotism when the convoy stops in town.

"There's nothing like the roar of the motorcycles and the red, white, and blue," Crewe said. "The riders start talking about Wytheville when they leave from California for two reasons: They start talking about the people here and they start talking about the kids here."

Workers from Volvo's nearby New River Valley plant in Dublin also unveiled a specially designed truck in honor of the veterans.

"This particular truck has a lot of reflections, reflections of the black granite wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial," said plant worker Mark Peterson. "With reflections, you can feel spirit and you can feel emotion."

The Run For The Wall will also stop in Montvale, Bedford, and Lynchburg before reaching D.C.
 

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