GIBSON COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – An annual, cross-country Memorial Day tradition made its presence known in the heart of the Tristate. Run for the Wall consists of veterans, patriots, and interested motorcyclists who travel from California to Washington D.C. to honor fallen veterans on Memorial Day weekend. The group of more than 500 riders stopped in Gibson County for a short break on their trek to the Vietnam Wall.

“We as Americans, we take great honor in honoring our veterans who have sacrificed everything, because freedom isn’t free.”

Ted Kapner, Director of Communications for Run for the Wall, was on-site to help coordinate the efficiently-planned stop in southwest Indiana. With the streets lined with residents greeting the riders, Kapner says this event is impactful for both attendees and the riders.

“It’s very important,” explains Kapner. “That’s our mission, we ride for those who can’t, and to bring about an awareness for POW, KIA, MIA, and those who are wounded in action.”

Laurie Ziliak brought her two young sons to see the motorcade in-person. Ziliak says she has a personal connection to Run for the Wall, reflecting on her time as a volunteer and her grandfather’s service in the military. She says she wants her children to see the true meaning of Memorial Day in action.

“It’s not just a holiday to take off work, and indulge in whatever you may indulge in,” says Laurie. “It’s so much more than that.”

Laurie’s son, Garrett, struggled to find words to explain the sight of hundreds of bikers pulling into his town.

“It makes me proud that everyone here honors these people,” says Garrett.