Biker Dad: Emotional ceremony honors vets with flags, flames - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Biker Dad: Emotional ceremony honors vets with flags, flames

Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It was an emotional Saturday afternoon at the West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis. The Combat Veterans Association and members of motorcycle groups from across the Mid-South rode from the VFW in Millington to the cemetery. About 65 motorcycles and a few cars roared down 385 before quieting things down and circling the cemetery in a "silent ride" to honor the thousands of fallen veterans buried there.

The Boy Scouts of America then helped the bikers respectfully retire torn, worn and tattered American flags in a ceremony that was touching and emotional. Each person told the story of a friend or loved one lost who fought for our country, then dropped a piece of a flag into a fire. Each time the stars and stripes fell into the ashes, the crowd stopped to salute.

Leah Foy rode her Harley Davidson Fat Boy in the ride to honor her late husband who was a combat veteran, but died at home in a motorcycle crash. "This is in memory of William Joseph Foy. Iraq, Afghanistan, Purple Heart, love of my life, ride forever, forever ride" she said as she fought back tears and dropped a tattered piece of flag into the fire.

My sons, both wearing their Boy Scout uniforms, and I dedicated our flag in honor of my late uncle, Charles Thatcher. Uncle Charles went to Vietnam as a teenager. He was commanding a tank when it came under attack and exploded. His crew were all killed or injured. He fought off hundreds of Viet Cong single-handed while waiting for backup. He was awarded the Navy Cross and multiple Purple Hearts. My uncle survived the war, but died a few years ago from a heart attack at his home in South Carolina.

Each biker made a donation to take part in the ride, and after the ceremony, a raffle and BBQ raised more money. The proceeds go the veterans cemetery, and the effort to build the West Tennessee Veterans Home.

For more information on the West Tennessee Veterans Home and how you can donate, click here


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Chris Best is the Assistant News Director for WMC Action News 5. He's a husband and father of four. He's also a motorcycle enthusiast.


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