Eleven Hoosier men who have been killed during military duty will be honored during the fourth annual Ride to Remember Saturday-Sunday, June 14-15.
“This is one of the ways we can show respect to our Gold Star families to assure them we will never forget the sacrifice given by their heroes .... Every day to them is Memorial Day,” reports Tim Kieffer, Batesville, Indiana Patriot Guard Southeast Region senior ride captain, who is organizing the event with Ed Schmidt, Napoleon, and Rusty and Janet Pike, New Washington.
“Each year we try to add something new. We used to play a recording of ‘Taps’ at each location, but now we have a guy who will play it on the bugle .... This year, we will also have a live rifle shoot at each stop.” As in the past, several Gold Star mothers will also be traveling with the group. “Usually, half of the families are represented at some point.”
Kieffer says he is looking forward to “seeing the families again. I personally talked to some member of all 11 of their families ..... (When someone dies), Ed and I normally go to the family and meet with them at their kitchen table or in the living room. We offer our condolences and our services. We tell them we’re not just here for the funeral, but we’re here forever.
“One of the things we hear from the Gold Star families is they want their son or daughter to be remembered. We’re following through with the commitment to do that through this event. It’s something they look forward to and expect.”
Anyone is welcome to participate in the ride, which is not affiliated with IPG, or come to any or all of the stops. “You don’t have to be a Patriot Guard member or ride a motorcycle. Respect is the only requirement.”