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Thursday, May 13, 2010

DC arrival day

Today brings the final leg of the ride journey. The morning started in Annapolis, traveled to RFK Stadium and then into the Memorial.

Mark in the courtyard of the hotel in Annapolis. We rode our bikes from here up the street to another hotel where other riders were staying. There we had breakfast and it was the starting point for the day.

The group eagerly awaiting our departure from the hotel parking lot to begin the last leg of the ride.

Mark having a snack at the Target stop. Today brought much different weather than yesterday afternoon. We had sunshine, rising temperatures and the humidity was increasing. Everyone was thankful to make it to the Target lot so that we could shed some layers!

A team photo before we leave Target and head to RFK.

Send off from the Target lot. The mass of blue and white shirts was impressive to see rolling down the streets.

Our arrival into one of the RFK stadium parking lots. As I said there was a group of riders already there and they greeted us as we rode in. When the final group came in there was another long reception line for them.

Team photo with one of the Police Unity Tour support vehicles.

When we arrived at RFK Mark had a phone message that a reporter from one of our local TV stations (KIRO) was looking for us to do an interview. She caught up with us in the lot and here are some shots of us being interviewed. Unfortunately we did not get a picture of John. He ran off to be the first one interviewed before we were ready with the cameras.

Each of us wore a metal bracelet during the ride to honor one of our fallen officers. Here is a photo of those bracelets when we were at RFK. These bracelets will be given to the surviving spouses at the Candlelight Vigil tomorrow evening.

Riding from the stadium down to the Memorial site. We started out about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way back in the queue. One of the ride marshalls came upon us and told us that we needed to get to the front of the line. He told us that it is tradition that when a department loses officers they are to ride in at or near the front of the line. We started to make our way to the front and we could hear officers asking who we were as we passed on the left. That was immediately followed by, "It's Lakewood". That was pretty cool. We made it to within about the first 20 riders as we went into the memorial.
There was an honor guard and bag pipe band awaiting us at the memorial. As the riders arrived we split and went to either side of the memorial. We were on the left side and were able to ride past our fallen officers and a group of our officers that were waiting for us to arrive.

The Washington Fallen Heroes as they appear on the Memorial Wall.

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