It was still dark when about 9 of us left out of Tallahassee led by PGR Road Captain Mike Donohoe heading to Enterprise, Ala. to pay final respects to Iraqi War Causality Sgt. Edmund Jeffers. We took quiet back roads Through Georgia and into Dothan, Ala. From Dothan on, one by one people would join up with the group. And then we hit Enterprise. To say there were a few bikes there waiting would be an understatement.
Riders from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama converged on this town for one of the largest PGR runs yet in this area.
Someone said there were over a hundred bikes. Having been on one or two runs I would say when you look in your rear view mirror and can't see the end of the bikes, yeah you have more than a hundred.
As per protocol we lined up at the church where services were being held and the traditional flag line established. Services over, we led the procession to the Daleville cemetery, Sgt. Jeffers final resting place.
This is where I got blown away and misty eyed. A major four lane divided highway. One side traffic stopped by virtue of the fine actions of the Alabama Police. The other side stopped for no other reason than RESPECT. People got out of there cars and held their hands over their hearts or saluted. They didn't have to stop, they just did. Then we crest a hill to be met by the sight of a roadway lined with people holding flags and waving. I'll admit it, the mist became tears as I was proud. Not of us riding, but of the people on the side of the rode, the people that didn't have to stop but did.
Theres was no pulling into the cemetery however. The POLICE were afraid our bikes would fall over in soft sand so they blocked one lane of the highway and then blocked our bikes to keep them safe as we walked, flags in hand to Honor Sgt. Jeffers.
I remember thinking as the flags were folded and presented to the "warriors" loved ones that yes , we may ride far, and it gets hot, but we are not the ones sitting in those chairs receiving a flag in exchange for a lost son or daughter. But what an honor to bear witness. To let the family know, yes he/she is your loved one. And you are not alone.
Then it's time to leave. Us to go about whatever our business may be. The family to go home to their grief. My last thought as the police made sure we got out safely. America hasn't died yet. It's very much alive in Alabama. See here for more pics of the run. Ride Free and remember why you can. Rest in Peace Sgt. Jeffers.Add to Technorati Favorites