The Wall That Heals visits Concord, NC
SITE: CONCORD NC DATES: 3-31 – 4-3, 2011
ATTENDANCE: 10,600 ESCORT: 60
To begin our 2011 tour, we met up with Bill Amerson (Ob Jammer) of the Patriot Guard Riders at the first Rest Area in North Carolina on I-77 South at Mile Marker 107. We met Jammer last year when he organized our escort to Washington NC, Orangeburg SC and then to Danville VA. It was a very chilly morning for the ride and as we greeted the arrivals, the hand shaking was easy as they were shaking from the cold. We departed the Rest Area and made our way South to I-85 exit 86 to Bill’s Truck Stop where we added an additional 20 motorcycles.
The ride went very smoothly until we reached our destination at Frank Liske Park, the first half of the bikes entered the park and then the truck approached the entrance, as we started in Bob and I looked at each other and said, “This isn’t going to work.” So he backed out of the entrance, pulled forward on the highway, and made a blind side back onto the T intersection to the park, where he could approach the entrance straight on, instead of making a left turn approach.
We were greeted by the sponsors of the event the Cabarrus County Public Library, the local newspaper and TV stations. All the biker’s gathered in front of the trailer for a photo shoot for the media and then departed with much warmer weather than the beginning ride.
On Wednesday morning we met the volunteers to setup TWTH. It was raining, cold and miserable. They worked diligently and had the Wall setup in record time. Two of the ladies from the library setup the west panels with the aid of one man and did it faster than the six guys that were setting up the east side.
On Thursday, the opening ceremony program was presided over by Jo Ann Gresham, Cabarrus County Public Library- Concord Branch Manager consisting of: Presentation of Colors by JROTC – J. M. Robinson High School, Medley of Service Songs, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem by Michael Barbee, Welcome by Jay White, Chairman, Cabarrus County Commissioners, Special Tribute to Fallen Heroes from Cabarrus County by Travis Waldron, Cabarrus County Veterans Service Director, Moment of Silence, Military Order of the Purple Heart by Mike Stubbs, Chapter 654 Wounded Warriors, “God Bless America” by Michael Barbee, Closing Remarks by Michael Eury,
Retire the Colors by Cabarrus County Veterans Honor Guard. With 60 people in attendance on this cloudy, misty rain morning.
Thursday and Friday with cold and rain the attendance was very sparse. Then on Saturday and Sunday the weather turned out beautiful and warm. The attendance improved drastically with both days and at any point in time there were 50 people in front of the Wall.
Each day for lunch, Dave Ward, a local veteran, had contacted a local restaurant to donate lunch for the volunteers. On Thursday lunch was provided by Sonny’s Bar-B-Que, on Friday, Hooter’s provided wings, and on Sunday, Dave made Swiss steak with rice from deer meat. He also contacted a local coffee distributor that donated four cases of coffee for the volunteers.
Bob and Brenda Dobek
Site Managers, The Wall That Heals
To learn more about The Wall That Heals visit http://www.vvmf.org/twth
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