On Tuesday, a thunderous escort of over 450 bikes and first responders formed a 9-mile convoy with riders riding side by side crossing the SS Jolley Bridge to officially deliver The Wall That Heals to the Marco Island community.
Residents lined the streets waving and saluting as the convoy rode by. Welcome Home Soldier.
Over 58,300 American soldiers who fought and died in Vietnam are being honored in Marco Island between February 20th through 23rd with The Wall That Heals. The presence of the exhibit will transform Veterans Community Park into a somber memorial.
The lead motorcycle riders were Marco Island residents, the patriotic trio of Ron Hobson, a Vietnam Veteran; Lee Rubenstein, Army Veteran and Commander of the American Legion Post # 404 and Doug Andrews, a resident and patriot. Behind them, a procession of personnel from FHP, Collier and Lee County Sheriffs, Collier and Lee County EMS, Naples Police, Cape Coral and Punta Gorda Police and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission rode with the Marco Island Police and Fire Rescue Departments.
For riders, it was an honor to participate in welcoming TWTH to the community. It was a solemn ride as the riders paid homage to their fallen brothers and sisters. Each rider received a souvenir pin or patch.
A big thank you to all the volunteers that made this possible. Subway served lunch to 900+ escort participants. February 19th, Wednesday, is dedicated to the wall set-up; Thursday, February 20th TWTH will be open to the public at 12:01 am., with the Welcome Ceremony scheduled at 12 noon. Keynote speakers will be Captain Wayne Smith and Retired Major General James Dozier, U.S. Army Retired.