Bedford, VA - About 500 motorcycles are making the trip from California to Washington D.C. in the annual Run for the Wall.
The bikers were at the National D-Day Memorial on Thursday. Earlier, they visited with a younger generation of patriots.
Kids at Montvale Elementary stood practically at attention holding their own star spangled banners as the group rode by. The kids wait all year for the bikes to roll into the school parking lot. Vets like Joe "ChickenJoe" Connors from Texas have been here year after year.
"They watch me get old and I'll watch them grow up," said Connors.
Jared Thomas, a 6th grader, is moving up to middle school and won't be here when the vets come around next year, but he'll take their lessons with him.
"They give their 100%. They tell the truth about what happened," said Thomas.
"What you've got here is like a living, breathing history lesson," said Dr. Douglas Schuch, the superintendent. "Especially for the generations that don't really understand what Vietnam was."
This ride represents a promise to remember Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action. Not wanting to throw caution to the wind, Connors carefully packs his construction paper hat. Before he rides off he makes another promise...
"I'll follow the kids. Find 'em next year."
After leaving the D-Day Memorial the bikers headed to Roanoke, for a picnic at the Virginia Veterans Care Center. The riders arrive in the Washington D.C. area Friday. On Saturday, they will pay their respects at both Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Memorial Wall.