On Friday, I was fortunate enough to be a small part of a Wounded Warrior Project cycling event, the Honor Ride. It drove home the understanding of the cost of freedom - the Warriors themselves. It transcends politics and laser focuses the sacrifices made by our military.
The Honor Ride is part of the WWP Soldiers Ride. If you are not familiar with these events, their website explains it best.
Soldier Ride is a WWP initiative that provides rehabilitative cycling opportunities across the country to help wounded warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for the public to participate in a cycling event that honors the men and women of our military who sacrificed so much. Soldier Ride offers the public a chance to ride alongside as our warriors promote their positive message of recovery. The event raises funds for WWP programs and initiatives that ensure this generation of wounded warriors is the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in our nation’s history.
Along with this video at this link: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i345k9yMtGU&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]
At the Honor ride, 39 recovering veterans, most from Walter Reed, and almost twice that number of citizens rode 16 miles from Hains Point Park pass the National Mall and back to the park. During the ride they were enthusiastically met with horn honks, shout outs and claps from onlookers.
As I watched the cyclists coming back in, I was struck by their strength, determination and competitive spirit. They were challenging not only each other but themselves. Just watching these warriors let me know, we are in good hands with our military.
One of the cyclist was very young, perhaps 19 or so and the organizers told me that he had just lost both of his legs three months prior to the ride. I was truly humbled by his sacrifice and inspired by his determination.
The civilians in the group ranged from their 60s down to the youngest, my 15 year old son. They came from all walks of business (and life). All were there to raise funds for the project and all were there to say thank you.
Thomas Jefferson said that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. I also believe the cost of freedom is to honor those who fight for it.