The thunderous rumble of a pack of motorcycles is a symphonic sound that reverberates deep inside my heart, much like the awe-inspiring roar of a fighter jet slicing through the sky or the resounding boom of a field artillery howitzer (a sound I know intimately well), delivering its explosive message to the world.
To me, these are more than just sounds. They are the rumblin’ heartbeats of freedom.
The warm Cache Valley air was filled with these rumblin’ heartbeats Saturday morning when nearly 100 motorcycles gathered together, echoing the powerful message that the Fallen are not forgotten.
Riders came from around the region, with some coming from across the country, to be here for the Lance Corporal Michael J. Allred’s “Ride for the Fallen.” This memorial tribute ride honors all of Utah’s Fallen who have given their lives to safeguard the precious gift of freedom.
Michael, a familiar face and neighbor from Hyde Park, left this world too soon, a hero taken from us in the heart of Iraq on September 6, 2004. He became a poignant symbol, Cache Valley’s first casualty in the unyielding War on Terror.
The origin of the Ride for the Fallen is steeped in love and remembrance. Brett and Zell Allred, driven by the memory of their son and a desire to pay homage to all of Utah’s Fallen, breathed life into this event. For several years, their family devoted themselves to this noble cause, raising funds for scholarships at Utah State University, the very institution Michael aspired to attend after his service in the Corps. Though Michael’s dream was left unfulfilled, his legacy continues to shape dreams. One of our daughters has been the beneficiary of this dream.
COST OF FREEDOM TRIBUTE
The tale of honoring heroes also included The Cost of Freedom Tribute featuring an 80% scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The Wall stretches over 380 feet in length and, just like the original in Washington, D.C., bears the names of the 58,000 who have forever etched their sacrifice into the annals of our country’s history.
This traveling exhibit, a creation of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT), arrives in the name of unity and support for the Cache Valley Veterans Association. It’s more than just a wall; it’s a living memorial. Alongside the replica of the Vietnam Wall, other chapters of history come alive in somber beauty. There are tributes to World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Amidst the tributes, forgotten whispers of history find their voice. The Cold War, the Iran Hostage Crisis, the USMC Beirut bombing–all these chapters, once fading into obscurity, find a resurgence here. It’s a reminder that the cost of freedom isn’t paid in a singular moment, but through the collective sacrifice of countless lives.
This year’s Ride for the Fallen marked 19 years since Michael was killed in Iraq. And next month will be 22 years since the fateful events of September 11, 2001. While the rumble of the motorcycles has already faded into the distance, the echoes of sacred heartbeats will forever reverberate around us…
As long as we vow to never forget.
SUNDAY REFLECTIONS: WALKING SACRED GROUNDS
Click the link with the photo of Elisa and me for a special Sunday Reflections as we walk the hallowed and sacred grounds of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute to all our nation’s fallen heroes.
Thanks for letting me share! Have a beautiful Monday!
I love you!
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to simply remember.
RED EDGE MENTORING – VISION | STRATEGY | PROMISE
EMPOWERING LEADERS TO CREATE a STORY of LOVE & GREATNESS