Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

16th Annual 9-11 Tribute Ride and Rally - Grandview, Missouri

Written by  November 22, 2017

Thousands of motorcyclists gathered at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview on Saturday, September 9, to honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and to show appreciation for veterans and active military, police, and emergency services personnel. The rally started at 9:00 a.m. and featured vendors, children’s activities, and displays of Grandview emergency services vehicles.  Missing this year were the military vehicles due to their deployment to assist with hurricane relief. Visitors to Gail’s enjoyed live music from Mojo Saint. Jumpers from Skydive Kansas City parachuted into the grassy area behind the dealership with John Hall flying a giant American flag.

Event T-shirts were available for $20.  Riders made a charitable donation of $10 per bike for the privilege of participating in the ride with proceeds going to Hope for Heroes, a certified 501 © 3 nonprofit organization that, quoting their website, “combines a deep love and passion for outdoor activities with emotional and spiritual healing for Military, Fire, Police, and EMS personnel, who’ve experienced life altering disabilities while in the line of duty.”  HFH was founded in 2010 by retired Westchester County K9 Police Officer and US Army 101st Airborne Scout Sniper Mitch Serlin who was on hand for this event and spoke to those in attendance during the opening ceremony.  The ceremony also included the formal retirement of the flag proudly flown over Gail’s Harley-Davidson over the past year.

Staging took place in the rear and lower parking lots with traffic direction by Gail’s employees and members of the American Heartland H.O.G. Chapter. The ride was expertly escorted by officers from several area law enforcement agencies. It took around 45 minutes for the entire procession to exit the parking area, and there were many spectators lining the sidewalks to cheer for those who rode. Flags were waved by many onlookers gathered on several overpasses along the route.

The roughly 20-mile route ended at the National Airline History Museum at Kansas City’s Downtown Airport. Last year’s delay getting into the parking lot was minimized during the 2017 event.  As they entered the parking area Gail greeted the riders, thanking them for their participation. Fortunately, the museum has an expansive parking area with ample room for all the motorcycles, perhaps as many as 2,000 of them. Once parked, motorcyclists listened to music provided by The Damien Gunn Band. Food and drinks were available.  Weather for the entire event was perfect!

It’s critical that we are always mindful of the tragic events of 9-11 and continue to pay tribute to the victims. Currently, there are constant reminders that America’s enemies are still active. The good news is that those evil forces are destined to fail, and our nation will prevail thanks to the courage and dedication of our heroes in uniform and the strength of the American spirit in all of us.

Thanks go out to Gail and her staff, the American Heartland Chapter of H.O.G., the police and MODOT escort team, sponsors, vendors, entertainers, and all who participated in the ride. Special thanks to our military, police, and first responders who stand ready every day to serve and to protect all of us.

 

Stripe

Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com