Patriotism flows through the veins of a special group of Americans. They are very different from each other when it comes to occupation, appearance and personal interests. Each one is unique, personal and lives at different speeds. These are motorcycle enthusiasts.
Today there will be thousands who roar through our nation’s capital. They are drawn to come to the city from all over the United States to remember those who died and fell at the Twin Towers on September 11. Cyclists from thousands of miles away left family, took time off work and roared down asphalt roads to share in a common belief that this country is still their deepest love.
Along the many miles that drew these riders together, they were cheered on by countless other Patriotic Americans who also love this nation. Most were non-riders who believed in the cause for this ride.
Not everyone believes in symbolic gestures. But, these American bikers do. I do.
There was a glitch along the way. The organizers of this event did their best to do it right. They applied for a permit from the city officials to stage a ride through but they were denied.
Some gatherings in this great country are a protected right. Americans have the right to publicly gather. Does that thought sound vaguely familiar from the annals of our historic national roots?
Out of respect for the laws of the land, ride organizers followed all of the proper procedures. When officials denied their application for a permit, something else took over. The American spirit emerged.
When the souls of Americans swell and the desire is to honor fallen fellow Americans, who can stop it? What can thwart the expression of patriotism or love that bursts from the lives of thousands and thousands of Americans who collectively want to honor those who died?
Our nation was hurt that day in history. We were wounded. It was a moment when all of us mourned, turned our hearts to God and humbled ourselves before the Creator acknowledging our need to depend on Him.
Thousands died. They were innocent lives violently ended because of misled zealots who only knew evil. So we grieve.
In our grief some have risen with a vision to keep the memory of the lives lost very much alive. This was a national moment of pain. None of us Americans should ever forget. I applaud my fellow riders on 9/11. Ride on, ride safely, ride well!
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography