Corrected 5/14/2015, 11:59 p.m.
WILLIAMS — The sun was lower than normal as The Riders of the 2015 Run For The Wall event rolled into town later than usual. They even managed to miss the snow predicted for this weekend.
Run for the Wall has stopped exclusively in Williams in the past. For the last two years, the group has split with some proceeding to Flagstaff as the popularity of the event grows. The Williams group conducted their normal parade down historic Route 66.
After which they formed up at the American Legion Cordova Post #13 where volunteers from the community served dinner and deserts for the riders.
The American Legion dedicated the event to the memory of the late Richard Aguilar. Richard was a member of the post and worked hard every year to make this event successful.
Rain did come the next morning as they gathered to have breakfast at the Wild West Junction. Mayor John Moore has been supportive of the event since he took office. He even came out in the blizzard of 2011 that met the group when they arrived.
The annual event is run to keep the memory of prisoners of war and those missing in action alive. There was some good news in 2014 with the remains of 14 Vietnam Veterans located and returned and their names removed from the Vietnam Veterans memorial.
Walt “Detour” Reichard is a Vietnam Veteran from Virginia and the Virginia State Coordinator for Run For The Wall. His motorcycle reflects the dedication of the rider of this event right down to his license plate. It reads simply “R4TW.”
Walt said that he makes the ride from Virginia to California only to return on this ten-day ride because he appreciates the dedication of this group. He is a seven-time veteran of the ride.
Sadly, many of the Vietnam veterans are either getting too old to ride or are passing away. The event organizers have opened up the event and active-duty military and some civilians have been making the memorial ride.