Motorcycle group invites community to participate in July 16th memorial ride
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
A group of bikers are gearing up for a remembrance ride on July 16th to honor the five fallen servicemen. The first anniversary of the Chattanooga tragedy is now less than a month away.
Last year, more than a thousand bikers showed up to ride in the funeral processions for two of the Fallen Five. The Patriot Guard hopes to see similar support in an upcoming event designed to honor their memory.
Remembering July 16th isn't easy for George Burgan.
"Being a Marine myself, it was a punch in the gut," he said. "It's something I'll never get over."
Burgan said it's hard to believe the one-year anniversary is in less than 30 days.
The loss of the five servicemen shocked the commmunity and the country.
Sometimes, the pain still feels fresh.
"They didn't go into work expecting to get murdered," said Burgan. "They gave their lives for our freedom just as if it had been on the battlefield."
Burgan is a ride captain with the Patriot Guard. He wanted to do something to honor the Fallen Five this year, and helped organize the Noogastrong Memorial Ride.
"It's just our way of trying to keep these men's memories alive," Burgan said.
Patriot Guard member Phillip Worley says the ride is open to cars and trucks, too.
"You don't have to be a veteran. You don't even have to ride a motorcycle. All you have to do is have the love and respect for our veterans," he said.
The Patriot Guard invites anyone who wants to show their support to ride along with them.
"I rode on the funerals, and I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support," said Worley.
Last year, over a thousand riders showed up to both of the funerals held in Chattanooga, for Staff Sgt. David Wyatt and Petty Officer Randall Smith.
The Patriot Guard hopes to see that same support next month.
"We're gonna keep their memory alive, and give them the honor and respect they have earned and deserve," Worley added.
Registration per vehicle costs $15. All money raised will go towards placing wreaths on fallen heroes' graves in the Chattanooga National Cemetery (Wreaths Across America).
For more details on the event, click here and here.