GRAFTON, W.Va. – American Bikers Aimed Toward Education has planned a ride through Grafton to take the place of the Memorial Day Parade.
Many people in the Grafton community look forward to the parade each year. Despite the cancellation, the community will hold the ride as a way to celebrate and remember service members.
The “Ride for the Vets” will be on Saturday May 30. The ride is free to all bikers who want to join.
“Our veterans, when they were out there fighting, didn’t stop because they got sick. Can you imagine if D-Day was canceled because of the coronavirus? That wouldn’t happen,” said Director of West Virginia ABATE Lanty Hammons. “So, we’re not stopping for this. Rain or shine, we’re going to be there to honor our veterans.”
They have already heard back from people in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland who said they would come join the ride. Hammons said he hopes this is something small the community can participate in, while still honoring the people America lost.
“This means the world to me, to be able to help out and help our community. Everybody is so sad that the parade is canceled. Growing up in Grafton, I remember this parade when I was knee high to a grasshopper. It’s something everyone did every year, and everyone is just so sad. This is something little I can do, and it means the world to me.”
The motorcycle ride is planned to begin at the Rite Aid in Blueville. All riders will follow the parade’s path all the way to the national cemetery on Walnut Street. When they arrive at the cemetery, they will plant flags at each grave to celebrate and honor each fallen veteran.
There will be an after ride held at White Front Tavern, located at 4971 George Washington Hwy. For more information, visit its Facebook page or call 304-518-9133.