Motorcyclists with 'Run for the Wall' to travel through Mt. Vernon, IL

(Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS)
(Source: Brittany Jacob/KFVS)

MOUNT VERNON, IL (KFVS) - Traveling from Ontario, Canada to Washington, D.C., the halfway point for "Run for the Wall" was in the Heartland.

The group stopped in Mount Vernon, Illinois on Tuesday, May 23.

The group exited Interstate 57 at the Veterans Memorial Drive exit around 12:30 p.m. and then travel north on Wells By Pass to Broadway and east to 44th Street for fueling.

At around 1 p.m., the group left 44th Street and go east on Broadway to the airport.

Dick McKay, also known as "Winky," not only scheduled the entire routes but also shed light on the origins.

"It started out with a group of vets from southern California that were Vietnam vets and they found out there are a lot of guys over there that are still missing and no one has ever cared," McKay said. "So they started riding for that and that was 29 years ago."

Around 400 motorcyclists, many of them Vietnam veterans, showed support.

"We are riding for those that can't," said Frank Silva, road guard. "And making sure we recognize those that are still missing and those that can't be accounted for. And we are just riding for our brothers and sisters that gave their all. Some of us, we all serve but didn't give the ultimate sacrifice."

"Everything is scheduled," said Don Pierce, road guard. "Every turn, every gas station, every meal is all planned out already and nothing stops it."

The group will make it to Washington, D.C. by Saturday, May 27 and meet nearly a half-million other motorcyclists with one thing on their mind: "Just remember the people that never came home because there's a lot of them. From a lot of wars."

Run for the Wall honors all veterans. Participants travel across the country to visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., raising awareness along the way.

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