UAW Local 2069 kicks off its 20th anniversary Ride to the Wall

Twenty years ago, four members of United Auto Workers local 2069 at the Dublin Volvo Truck plant rode their motorcycles to Washington on Memorial Day weekend to attend their first Rolling Thunder.

They came away moved by what they saw and organized another ride with more members of the local the next year…and the next…and every year afterwards.

This year, about 100 bikers — some union members and other along for the ride — gathered at the union hall next to the plant in Dublin for a ceremony Saturday morning before setting out for their 20th anniversary Ride to the Wall.

This year’s ceremony included music, a lump-in-the-throat rendition of “Amazing Grace” by a Marine bag piper and an earth=pounding canon salute.

Mark Peterson, one of the original four who went to Rolling Thunder in 1991, invited me along because I had been to the first Rolling Thunder in 1988. It was an honor to ride with these UAW members and friends to the 24th Rolling Thunder.

The annual ride to The Wall — otherwise known as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — is something I try to do whenever I can. Only family emergencies or health problems have kept me from attending over the last 24 years.

It was also an honor to attend the moving ceremony in Dublin that included introduction of vets from World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, the Cold War and conflicts of recent years, along with police officers, fire fighters and rescue workers.

We owe each and every one of these folks our gratitude and thanks and I was humbled to be in their presence. We never do enough to recognize all they do.

And we owe the folks at UAW Local 2069 for doing so much to help all us to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Job well done folks. Keep up the good work.


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