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Motorcycle ride memorializes fallen officers

Motorcycle ride memorializes fallen officers

One-hundred riders leave Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, as part of the 5th Annual Front Range Fallen Officer Memorial Motorcycle Ride June 1, 2018. The group first gathered at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado, before riding through Fort Carson, Schriever AFB, Peterson Air Force Base, and the United States Air Force Academy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Wes Wright)

Motorcycle ride memorializes fallen officers

Riders participate in the 5th Annual Front Range Fallen Officer Memorial Motorcycle Ride that passed through Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 1, 2018. One-hundred people participated in the record-setting ride, which was designed to memorialize the men and women of law enforcement who pay the ultimate price in serving and protecting society. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Wes Wright)

Motorcycle ride memorializes fallen officers

A thin blue line can be seen on a customized United States flag on a follow-on vehicle participating in the 5th Annual Front Range Fallen Officer Memorial Motorcycle Ride that passed through Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 1, 2018. The line represents the figurative position of law enforcement officers as the bulwark between order and anarchy in society. The ride memorialized the men and women who pay the ultimate price holding the line. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Wes Wright)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- One-hundred riders participated in the 5th Annual Front Range Fallen Officer Memorial Motorcycle Ride that traveled through Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 1.

The record-setting number of riders first gathered at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado, before riding through Fort Carson, Schriever AFB, Peterson Air Force Base, and the United States Air Force Academy. The event concluded with a barbeque back at Cheyenne Mountain AFS.

“We do this as part of our way of recognizing our law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty such as Deputy Micah Flick from the El Paso County Sheriff’s office,” said Scott Deeds, chief of plans and programs with the 721st Security Forces Squadron and event organizer. “I don’t want these individuals forgotten so we will take the time to remember them and their sacrifice.”

According to Deeds, any memorial ride is special but motorcycle riders share a special bond, which mirrors the bond between law enforcement professionals.

“Have you noticed, when you see bikers pass each other they often wave,” Deeds asked. “There is a bond on a motorcycle which cannot be accomplished sitting in a car. Now, coupled with our backgrounds in law enforcement, it solidifies our band of brothers.”

Two of Schriever AFB’s own were among the band of brothers for the ride.

“Wearing the shield comes with great sacrifice,” said Ronnie James, unit security manager with the 2nd Space Operations Squadron. “As a retired security forces member, I've lost several brothers who fell wearing the shield or badge while defending this great nation. I ride for them.”

Lt. Col. Michael Speck, commander of the 50th Security Forces Squadron, also participated in the ride.

“For me, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the service of all in the police business and the ultimate sacrifices of a few,” Speck said. “But more than that, it’s to pay respect to those loved ones still with us who received a call one night or day that drastically changed their lives forever. Those left behind live each day missing their officer, partner in life, father, mother, son, daughter, etc.”

Deeds also uses the ride to reflect on the high price sometimes paid while enforcing the law.

“It allows me a time to reflect on those who are willing to walk the thin blue line to protect each of us,” Deeds said. “When they walk out the door each day, it could be the last time they may see their loved ones. Not only am I thinking of those who’ve fallen, I am also reflecting on the loved ones who were left behind trying to pick up the shattered pieces of their life.”

A thin blue line in law enforcement refers to the figurative position of officers as the bulwark between order and anarchy. The blue line is often seen over a black background at memorial events.

James said those who walk the blue line have a special place in his heart.

“I remember my fellow security forces members, thinking of the good and bad times we shared,” he said. “I think of those fallen law enforcement brothers and the pain losing a love one; and those who wish they could ride again but the body isn't able.”

While everyone may not be able to participate in a motorcycle ride, Deeds said there are other ways to show appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for society every day.

“When you get a chance, take the time to thank them for sacrifice and duty in a time where it is tough being a police officer,” Deeds advised. “To end, I would quote, ‘No greater love has a man, to lay his life down for another,’ for that is what they do every day for total strangers.”
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