In our location, just a couple blocks from the former West Virginia Penitentiary, where the Tribute is now set up, the sidewalks were filled with folks patiently waiting for it's arrival.
First came a large number of police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks from our town, and many surrounding areas.
And then the motorcycles. Lots of motorcycles. Lots and lots of motorcycles.
The majority of them were Patriot Guard Riders. I have so much respect for them! The highlighted link will take you to Wikipedia, where you can learn more about the Patriot Guard.
After a large number of riders went by, the truck carrying the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall came through.
I was standing too close to get a good picture of the whole truck, but this gives you an idea of the beauty of it.
And then, the motorcycles kept coming.
And coming, and coming, and coming.
It had been estimated that there would be 750 - 1000 riders. I haven't heard an exact number, but I'm sure the estimate was accurate. A friend counted to 500 before she gave up counting. And they kept coming and coming and coming.
Yesterday, a TV reporter who had covered the arrival was in my store shopping. She said the truck driver told her that this was one of the biggest welcomes they have ever recieved. Moundsville was out in full force, but so were the towns leading into Moundsville.
I pulled this photo from the Cost of Freedom Moundsville facebook page. This is a small town a few miles north of Moundsville on Rt. 2. Their residents filled the overpass, with their patriotism shining brightly.
It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly, but the weather had nothing to do with it. American pride, complete with honor, respect and appreciation for our military and emergency personnel was out if full force.
May we never forget their sacrifices.