'Run for the Wall' Makes Pit Stop in Lynchburg
Lynchburg, VA - The 26th annual "Run For The Wall" ride honors the veterans of all wars and raises awareness for those who are missing in action. Their journey across Washington, D.C. for Memorial Day weekend brought the riders through Central and Southwest Virginia Thursday. It's a ride that has crossed nine states and gone more than 3,000 miles. When talking to the riders, there isn't one that hasn't touched them emotionally along the way. "When you can come on this, and support the cause of veterans, and find them missing in action, and bring them home, I just want to be a part of it," said Tim Morrison, from Levert, CA. Riders on the 26th Annual "Run For The Wall" well up with emotion when trying to describe the emotional journey they have nearly finished. "I just look at it, and I just...I have cried so much," said rider William Aviles, from Marietta, CA. Riders have been making their way through communities across the United States. For William Aviles, stopping in small towns makes the effects of war all the more real. William Aviles, Marietta, CA "Every little town has a war memorial. When a town, a little tiny town loses a boy or girl in war, it's the whole town that has lost that person." Riders took time to speak to students at Montvale Elementary School Thursday afternoon, before making a stop at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford for a special wreath laying ceremony. "To walk up to that and see those splashes in the water, and see those statues of those soldiers crossing that beach, and falling on that beach...if that doesn't wring your heart a little bit, I think there's something wrong with you," said rider Bill Schaeffler, from Tucson, AZ. Their 10 day journey nearly complete, riders like Bill Schaeffler say that their ride may be over, but the cause will go on. "We still have soldiers that never got to come home, we don't have any accounting for them, and we want Congress and the nation to give us an accounting on where our heroes ended up," Schaeffler said. Riders will be leaving Lynchburg Friday morning, completing their journey to Washington, DC Friday. Their trip will combine with the "Rolling Thunder" motorcycle parade on Sunday.