Veterans Charity Ride joined hundreds of bikers, law enforcement officers, veterans and supporters last Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl for the 4th Annual Heroes Ride benefiting Fallen Officers and Wounded Veterans. This was our first year participating in the Heroes Ride.
We didn’t know what to expect, so we left early to meet up with Richard Cohn, Heroes Ride Chairman and organizers The Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA). The PPOA established the Star & Shield Foundation in 2001. Since then, the foundation has proudly raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support worthy organizations and causes. Their most important mission is providing assistance to the families of fallen officers.
After the opening ceremony, Honor Guard, singing of the National Anthem and a very special tribute to those who gave their lives last year, we saddled up and prepared to ride through the streets of Hollywood to the Los Angeles National Cemetery. As the pack rolled out of the Hollywood Bowl, we were instantly aware this was not your usual biker ride. Literally dozens and dozens of police bikes, police cars and 1st responder vehicles joined in as our escorts. The support was overwhelming, the escort vehicles and motorcade police bikes stopped traffic along our entire route, allowing the bikers to safely ride the streets and freeways of Los Angeles completely by ourselves.
It was an awesome, almost surreal experience as we rode down Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, through Beverly Hills, with the crowds of people and supporters waving flags, giving thumbs ups and saluting our motorcade. We were greeted at the Los Angeles National Cemetery by the Los Angeles Fire Department, a huge American flag flying at half mast and a lone bagpipe player, playing Amazing Grace. It could not have been a more befitting setting to honor our Fallen Officers and Veterans.
Another round of eloquent speeches, which included tributes to our veteran brothers and sisters who gave the ultimate sacrifice and a special Placing of the Flags ceremony for the Fallen. We saluted and then mounted our machines to ride another 20 miles, fully escorted, with the wind in our faces, and the freeways of LA all to ourselves.
We arrived at the finish line at Biscailuz Academy Training Center in East Los Angeles for lunch, music and the car and motorcycle show, where our very own iconic Veterans Charity Ride green Indian sidecar rig, aka “The Hulk” won the Best Bike Competition!
This is, by far, the best motorcycle rally and ride through the streets of Los Angeles you could possibly attend and support. We look forward to riding and supporting our fellow veterans and law enforcement officers next year, and we would love to see you out there with us.
Ride safe brothers and sisters…