Sunday, April 08, 2007

Patriot Guard Riders

Brothers, this little story is not strictly about Freemasonry, however it is one I think you should read.

“Aw poop” (or something like that), I mumbled as I drove into a parking space in front of the Cannon Funeral Home. It was Saturday morning April 7 and I was there for Brother David M. Rattray’s memorial service. Brother Rattray was a long time member of Waller Masonic Lodge #808 AF & AM. He had been a Mason for 32 years, a 32 degree Scottish Rite, a Shriner, an ex-marine and a member of the Waller Chapter of the VFW.

The temperature was in the 40s and it was drizzling rain, but the circular drive in front of the building was full of motorcycles and a bunch of scruffy looking men dressed in blue denim, black leather jackets and some also wore black leather chaps. Many of them had tattoos, ear rings, bushy beards, full mustaches and white hair and you probably wouldn’t have stopped at a bar where they were congregated. These men were lined up along the circular drive way and the main thing I noticed was that every one of them was holding an 8 foot flagpole with a big American flag. Then I remembered, I had seen them before on TV. They ride with the funerals for the fallen men and women of the U.S. Armed Services

After the service they lined up at attention with their flags on each side as Brother Rattray’s remains were carried from the funeral home and then accompanied them to the Waller cemetery.

By the time everyone got back to Waller Lodge dinning room and a huge table full of some good homemade food I had figured out who they were and why they were there. I made it a point to shake their hands, get to know them a little and personally thank them for what they were doing. I discovered that when requested they do this for fallen service personnel and veterans all over Texas and even into Louisiana

After I got home I looked them up on the internet and found the Patriot Guard Riders Web Site. I think their mission statement tells the whole story;

“The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security.

We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family.

Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.

2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.

I would advise everyone to never say anything detrimental to our troops or unpatriotic in front of them. Everyone of these fellers are some kind of serious patriots and it makes me feel good to know them better.


Blogger Tom Accuosti said...

Excellent! I'm glad to see that there are responsible opposing viewpoints with regard to the idiots who have been traveling to other funerals.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Traveling Man said...

I am glad the fallen heroes to not go to their final resting place amid catcalls and vile sentiments.


8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respect is a fading concept in America. Our schools find it hard to teach it to our children. Our legislatures find it missing in its members. Our politicians claim to have it and give it, but fewer and fewer of them can define it, can recognize it, can earn it.

These folks, Knights of the Two Wheeled Iron Horses, know what it is, know who's earned it, knoow who else gives it, who else shows it, who else deserves it.

Let's all make an effort to show it TO them in return. Maybe together we can bring it back to life in America.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Widow's Son said...

Excellent post, Bro. Corky.

It was interesting to read the info from the Patriot Guard's website.

Widow's Son

10:26 AM  
Blogger Seeker of Light said...

Brother Corky, it makes my heart sad that there is a group such as this in the great state of Texas. :(

The fact that they are there is not what saddens me, its the fact that there is a need for them to be here!

I was raised to stop and pull over and show respect when a funeral procession passes on the road. That a cemetery deserves respect and should be treated with respect! To not walk over graves but around them...

I praise these men for the job they are doing. Im afraid Im still learning to subdue my passions when it comes to people that interupt funerals. ANYONE interupting a funeral, and most certainly that of a vet, needs to have a severe attitude adjustment administered!

5:28 PM  
Blogger Hollywood said...

I was one of the Patriot Guard Riders who was invited to attend the service for Mr. Rattray. Yes, it Was a very cold and rainy day, but what we went through is nothing compared to what our Soldiers both past and present go through to assure us of the Freedoms we all enjoy today and hopefully tomorrow.
I would like to thank you once again for allowing us the Honor to attend Mr. Rattray's service to show our Respect for him and his service for our Great Country.
Thank you for the kind words about the Patriot Guard Riders and No we won't bite you lol but we Do believe in showing those who have passed and those who have not, that have given us the Freedoms we all enjoy the HONOR and RESPECT each and everyone of them deserve.
Thank you also for the great meal, it kept me warm for my 80 mile ride home (yes it was still cold and raining) but no where near the warmth I get from being able to do what we do!
God Bless America, and may God Bless us one and all!
Kelly Mason aka Hollywood
Senior Ride Captain for the
S.E Texas Patriot Guard Riders

9:36 PM  

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