As we come into Memorial Day weekend, we are challenged to remember those who gave their lives in service to their country. One particular way we can do that blends with another thing we love to do with long weekends: travel.
About The Tour
The Tour of Honor is a first responder and veteran-focused motorcycle tour that visits memorials and museums across the United States and contributes to charity. The tour began after a visit to the memorial at Shanksville, PA following 9-11, and a sub-route continues to honor just 9-11 sites for riders who want to focus on that specifically. “We are well over 1000 riders now,” said NC rider and tour sponsor, John Morton. “You ride your ride how you want to, whether you want to make it a traveling tour or you are a trophy runner racing to win the prize for a particular region.”
Participants register through the tour website and earn trophies based on how many memorials and monuments they visit during the tour dates. Additionally, $25 from each registration fee is contributed to the rider’s charity of choice: Fisher House Foundation, Gold Star Family Memorial Foundation, or Gary Sinise Foundation First Responders Outreach. According to the tour website, profits after expenses are divided equally between the three charities. The tour runs from April 1 through September 30, and riders are encouraged to visit as many memorials and monuments as possible.
Veterans’ Rock, Dudley, NC
One of the locations on the tour is Veterans’ Rock in Dudley, NC.
Veterans’ Rock is a giant painted rock that honors all branches of the military with a specific nod to its local military installations. The rock was a labor of love and volunteer effort from the community and Discipleship Christian Church. It was painted by the pastor of the church who is also a commercial artist. Visitors to the rock are welcome to come and sit on flag benches and take as much time as they need to pause and reflect.
Wherever you find yourself this weekend, take time to reflect on those who have sacrificed in service. No freedom that we have in America came free; men and women fight daily to defend and keep it this way. Sometimes that fight costs lives.
It is easy to forget about this sacrifice because we live in a place that is not constantly a war zone. We argue over gun control and who should be allowed to do certain things in this country, but even that argument is a gift we should thank our military for.
America is a free country–not a perfect one. We are free because of our form of government and the laws in place that protect individual rights and expression. We are unique; no other country is quite like us in their organization. We built a nation on mutual respect and integrity. It is the right to keep it that way that our military defends.
Show thankfulness for the land you live in. Voice respect for those who choose to honor and protect it. Be a gear that keeps the engine of our country moving–not a cog in the wheel.