Run for the Wall concludes annual Trail of Honor - - Jackson, MS

Run for the Wall concludes annual Trail of Honor

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Our photographer, Wesley Harris, is getting a birds-eye view of "Run for the Wall". Our photographer, Wesley Harris, is getting a birds-eye view of "Run for the Wall".
(Photo source: Wesley Harris) (Photo source: Wesley Harris)

For a few hours, hundreds of veterans made the Capitol City their home. They've been driving from California to raise awareness about those who didn't come back from battle.  

Run for the Wall has been around since the late 80's, when veterans decided to make a statement that would resonate across the nation. They accomplished that by riding across it.  

"[I do it] because of what it means to me. My dad was in World War II, the Korean War," said Run for the Wall state coordinator Don Stringer. "My son's current military now, nephews and son-in-laws. I do it because I grew up in the Vietnam area. I lost a lot of friends."  

As many as 475 bikers arrived in Jackson Monday at noon, a stopping point on the way to Washington, DC, and a sobering visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  

"We're not well remembered in our time," former NAVY Seal Tom Norris said. "Thankfully now this country does take the opportunity to remember all our veterans."  

Norris was honored Monday as he was in 1976, when President Richard Nixon presented him with the Medal of Honor. He's also no stranger to the ride and the patriotism that comes along with it.  

As they travel that route from one coast to the other, many say what they see along the way can't be put into words.  

"The school over at Edwards, when you see these little children peeking through the fence, waving at us, we know we're getting the message across," Stringer said.  

That's part of the reason why two Vietnam veterans started the run in 1989. They wanted veterans to be able to heal by getting the "welcome home" they never had.  

"One of the greatest images I have is a man in a wheelchair sitting on a bridge, waving a U.S. flag a couple of years ago while we all moved  through Meridian," U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Erik Hearon (Ret.) said. "Had to be a veteran."  

Now, they continue traveling in an effort to spread awareness about prisoners of war and those Missing in action, never forgetting what they did.  

"Don't ever forget them," Stringer said. "That's what this is all about. Bring  em home."

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