Veterans Rally 2012

By Tim Anderson
Courtesy of Southwest Scooter News

SAV11-SWSNIf it’s August in the Pikes Peak Region, the thunder you hear might be coming from storm clouds, but it’s more likely coming from the thousands of motorcycles thundering up the hill to Cripple Creek, Colorado.

See, every August, up on Cripple Creek, the spirits of brothers in arms rise up to meet the patriotic men and women astride two wheels who make the annual sojourn to the historic gold camp and gambling town to gather at the annual Salute to American Veterans Rally and honor United States Military Veterans.

It makes for sights, feelings and an event unrivaled anywhere.

The 20th Annual Salute To American Veterans Rally returns to Cripple Creek August 17-19, 2012, for another festival of Veteran appreciation and motorcycle camaraderie.

Saturday the 18th also marks the 25th Annual POW/MIA Ride from Woodland Park to Cripple Creek. The quarter-century old 35-mile ride is the largest, and perhaps the longest, police escorted ride in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. Upwards of 6000 riders have participated in the ride in the past, which was the forerunner event to the rally itself.

“This year we celebrate 20 years of the Veterans Rally, and 25 years of the POW/MIA Recognition ride,” explained event founder Jim Wear, “So this is a big year. It’s quite a milestone. We’re proud and honored to have been able to make this happen every year and be a part of something special every August.”

Motorcyclists are, as a group, one of the most patriotic subcultures of American society. It’s a fact that many bikers are United States Military Veterans, but more importantly, bikers very much relish and covet their freedom. As a group, bikers understand that the freedom that they so enjoy comes with a high price. Freedom is paid for with the blood and sacrifice of United States Veterans throughout the history of this great nation. That sacrifice, and the freedom we enjoy, is what the rally is about.

“After 20 years, the rally is as popular as ever,” Wear said. “There is still the same level of interest, there is still the same impact. The core of the event is still there, that hasn’t changed. That intangible feeling that makes the Salute To American Veterans what it is…is just as strong as ever.”

This long-standing event has truly become a world-renowned gathering, and one of the most widely publicized and patriotic events of it’s kind in the United States. Rivaled only by “Rolling Thunder” in Washington DC, the Salute to American Veterans Rally truly encapsulates the spirit of the American warrior and the freedom so coveted by the American biker.

The old west mining town of Cripple Creek will come alive this again August with the sounds of thunder as tens of thousands of patriots and United States Veterans come together in an awesome display of patriotism appreciation for members of the American military—past and present—and the sacrifices they’ve made.

“It’s a very fitting and appropriate tribute,” Wear said. “We all gather together to say, ‘thank you,’ pay our respects, reflect, remember, and celebrate our freedom as Americans. We do it in a great setting, and we all get to ride motorcycles to do it. That’s tough to beat.”

Veterans Rally attendees can expect all of the usual traditions including the Veterans Parade—which wraps up with the arrival of the POW/MIA Ride awesome vendor show, live music, guest speakers, beer gardens, and casino gaming in the authentic old west mining town.

The Saturday POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony is the centerpiece of the event and is not to be missed. With emotion running high, this Ceremony will make you proud to be an American. Visiting dignitaries, veterans, heroes and soldiers of all kinds take part, making this midday event a must attend part of the weekend.

A second ceremony will be held Sunday at 1:00 pm at the recently constructed Cripple Creek Military Memorial just west of town at the base of Mt. Pisgah. Each year Cripple Creek’s town fathers add the names of our military heroes lost in the previous year to the Memorial.

In Addition, The Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial, or “The Traveling Wall,” will be in Cripple Creek this year. The memorial will be staged at Cripple Creek High School, where a series of events are planned.

As for the 25th Annual POW/MIA Recognition Ride, it will once again stage at Woodland Park High School Saturday morning the 18th. From there, the ride, which is escorted every inch by three different police agencies—Woodland Park Police, Teller County Sherriff and the Colorado State Patrol, wind its way through the mountains, along the West side of Pike’s Peak, to Cripple Creek via Highways 24 and 67.

The annual ride is accurately billed as “Colorado’s largest procession of motorcycles.” Its arrival in downtown Cripple Creek is always a loud and definitive punctuation mark to the always-popular parade up Bennett Avenue.

Yep, it just wouldn’t be August in the Pikes Peak Region without the Annual Salute To American Veterans Rally returning to Cripple Creek, bringing bikers, veterans, and patriots with it.

For more information call 719-487-8005.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 October 2015 14:43