The third annual American Tribute Ride created all the thunder heard through the Horicon Marsh area on Saturday, July 25th. Despite it being one of the hottest days so far this summer, around 150 riders paid tribute to the heroes that keep us safe. The ride began at Mischler’s H-D in Beaver Dam and ended in Kekoskee with stops at the Fireman’s park in Waterloo and the firehouse in Hustisford.
A special treat in Waterloo awaited the riders, in addition to lunch, the more than 100yr old carousel gave riders respite. It also let the riders feel a different type of “horsepower”, though the horses only made left turns. The riders offer many thanks to those who worked so hard to make that stop fun for those of us in the ride.
Hustisford fire department helped cool the riders with an ice cream treat and hospitality. They opened the bay doors to share some shade and a chance for the riders to get a break.
The final stop in Kekoskee featured a touching “final alarm” ceremony complete with a bell toll to remember the firefighters, military and law enforcement that made the ultimate sacrifice. The families of Rosendale Firefighter Les Fryman and Wisconsin State Patrol trooper Trevor Casper were on hand to honor their loved one. The crowd was visibly moved as each name and brief bio was read the bell tolled and a moment of silence held.
After the ceremony, before the crowd dispersed for home, the Kekoskee fire department family helped serve up a delicious dinner to complete the day.
Those in attendance were honored at Mischler’s with Honor Guards from the Dodge County Sheriff Department along with the members of the Beaver Dam VFW Post 1163 and American Legion Post 143 posting colors. The group was honored by having Joe Meagher [Deputy Emergency Management Director for Dodge County] sing the National Anthem. In Kekoskee, the Campbellsport Fire Department along with the Mayville American Legion Post 69 made an impressive presentation of colors.
“Without the support of the host departments and the American Tribute Ride committee this event would not happen,” said Ron Naab the chair. Naab went on to say. “It’s also because of the brave riders that participate that we are able to pay tribute to the men and women who have given so much, including their lives, with the American Tribute Ride.”
The committee asked all to consider joining them in 2016 when we will leave Green Bay enroute to King Veteran’s home. The ride will once again take place the fourth Saturday in July, look for details at americantributeride.com or follow us on Facebook.