I have had the distinct pleasure of taking part in the Pledge of Never Again Ride in conjunction with the HHR.

This ride saw us go to East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania to meet up with members of the JMA (Jewish Motorcycle Association) and the M25 Christian Riders. Also jointing this group was Trapper Cane of the CAV who was returning from Rolling Thunder in Washington DC to participate in the Pledge and the Heroes Highway Ride.

Lou DeVuono, Graeme Hume and myself were joined on the trip to East Stroudsburg PA by Howard Galganov who is the Canadian Co-ordinator for the Ride to Remember and the Pledge of Never Again.  The Ride to Remember is an annual ride for the Jewish Motorcycle Community to commemorate the Holocaust and the Pledge of Never Again which will take place on Parliament Hill on Thursday May 31st.

The Pledge ceremony is a first on many levels as Christians and members of the Jewish community will be standing shoulder to shoulder to declare that we as a people can never allow a similar incident to the Holocaust to ever happen again.

 Lou DeVuono (L) and Howard (Far Right) with members of the Jewish and Christian riding community, united with one message - NEVER AGAIN
I had the opportunity to speak with Trapper about the significant of the Pledge & the HHR and what these two events mean to our Canadian soldiers and their families.

Trapper served as a sniper during 6 tours abroad and has been a huge advocate for veterans, serving members and all of the families involved.
Trapper with a veteran of the US military in East Strousburg PA

"It's been my experience to work with the forces of many different nations and the peoples of those nations. When we were in harm's way, we were told to never pick sides, and now as a civilian veteran, it's been my honour to be surrounded by soldiers and civilians from all nations, united as one - ALL sides united with one cause. To ride motorcycles, to tell the world that together we can defeat any challenge. The challenge now - to stamp out terrorism.

There can be nothing more beautiful in my opinion as everyone gathered together as one family, today riding towards Parliament Hill, putting all past prejudices behind us, to say with one voice - NEVER AGAIN.

The energy that HHR gathers on the same ground where our fallen are repatriated into the arms of their families, that same ground now covered with thousands of motorcycles all united, roaring down the Highway of Heroes, showing respect to the Silver Cross families for their sacrifices, is of enormous importance.

All of us pledging to never forget the sacrifices of the past, the present and the future.

As a veteran, the HHR means to me: A confirmation of a promise that I and thousands of Canadians made when the first 4 combat casualties from Afghanistan came home, that NEVER, would every following casualty would see less support than was seen that first horrible day. Every single repatriation from that point onward has been met by members of the CAV and the Canadian public in huge numbers and it's our honour now, to return once again. our motorcycles roaring down the Highway of Heroes, reminding the Silver Cross families and the comrades of the dead and wounded that we are here today and every day united.

The HHR is an event that will continue to gain momentum even though the Afghan mission is all but over. It needs to so that these families and our serving members and veterans know that we Canadians will always remember and honour their sacrifices for our country."

I also had the pleasure to speak with Lou DeVuono founder and executive director of the HHR and he discussed with me the motivation behind starting this ride 4 years ago.

In December of 2008, Lou was standing on a bridge with his wife, Anne, during a repatriation of three fallen Canadian Forces members.  Lou said the emotion of that day, touched his heart in a way that nothing else has. It occurred to him that while this was a wonderful show of support for the families of the fallen, that there needed to be a larger expression of appreciation for all members, fallen and living and their families.

After talking to a number of people within the motorcycling community Lou decided to forge ahead with his idea for a FREE ride that would allow the members of the Canadian Motorcycle Community and all persons in Canada who support our troops a way to show their appreciation.

I am honoured to be a sponsor of the HHR and am honoured to see the true expression of brotherhood and honour that I have witnessed while taking part in the Pledge of Never again ride and am looking forward to the pride filled day that will be the HHR.

Come join us at CFB Trenton on June 2nd. Kickstands up at 11 am sharp so please be at the base by 10:30 for ceremonies and parade line up.  We will be riding the entire length of the Highway of Heroes and the ride concludes at the Sound Academy on Polson Street in Toronto, on the waterfront where a number of activities will be taking place. It's a full day meant to honour the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and their families - PLEASE come and support OUR troops.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Ride

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