March 03, 2006

Support The Troops Bike Rally

Thousands Of Bikers Show Their Support For Troops

FPRIVATE - July 10, 2005 By Mary Nam

PIERCE COUNTY - If you drove along Interstate 5 near Tacoma Sunday morning, chances are you saw thousands of bikers cruising down the freeway with American flags. The Second Annual Rally For The Troops took place in Fife. The ride is a way for area motorcyclists to say "thank you" to our troops and their families for their service overseas. "There are people back home that truly care," explained Organizer Gene Cope. "There's not a lot we can do other than (getting) together and just (showing) them."

The rally brought out more than 3,000 bikers from all over the northwest.
People gathered on freeway overpasses to take pictures and wave flags as the bikers rode by.
Jim Butterfield recorded the entire ride on his video camera. Butterfield is a veteran and the sight of so much patriotism brings tears and sad memories. "I was in Vietnam twice," he explained, "and nobody welcomed us. I'm so proud that other people are. When I came back, we had to change out of our uniforms so people didn't see where we came from."

Times have changed.

Marines who stood by watching the rally said the gratitude is mutual. Marine Cpl. Ryan Edwards said, "It brings a warm feeling to my heart to know that we have these people back here in the U.S. while I'm over there fighting, and all my brothers are in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's amazing. It almost brings a tear to my eye."


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