| After eating a green breakfast burrito served to us by two Navajo's at the morning meeting, we fired up our scooters and headed east once again on Interstate 40. Next stop, Espanola, NM where the town folk again welcomed us with open arms. After a quick lunch we shook the hands of several grade school classes who were yelling and waving banners and American flags as they stood along the sidewalk.
As I thanked each of them for being there to greet us, I asked the entire group if they'd rather be sitting in class. Their response, "NO WAY!" The young lady-teacher told me they were learning a far more important lesson by being with us. Nice to hear that, and I have to admit I agree.
But time waits for no one, so we were soon on the road again moving toward Angel Fire with one last gas stop before heading up the pass into the Sangre de Christo mountains. Route 64 to Angel Fire is two lanes and twisty, not the safest place for 400+ motorcycles. As our platoon crested the top and started downward, we saw a cloth sign that said, "Emergency Ahead." We went another half mile when we saw one of our Chaplains standing over a Veteran biker along side the road. The Veteran was on his back and not moving. A car traveling the opposite direction had apparently crossed the double yellow line and clipped the downed-Veteran's motorcycle, causing him to lose control and go over the right-hand side of the roadway and into the treelined slope. Driving by and seeing our brother on the ground, motionless, sent chills up our spines and brought flashbacks of casualties in combat.
Nevertheless, we pressed on, and soon were pulling into the parking lot of the Angel Fire Vietnam Veterans Memorial. We parked our bikes and shed our leathers. I looked for Crosshairs and linked up with him. I then started searching for my old friend, Rock Valentine. We soon found each other, and after introductions with Crosshairs, the three os us started walking the grounds of the memorial.
I apologize for leaving it at that and not describing any further details of our visit to the memorial. Let's just say the three of us honored and remembered our fallen brothers in our own personal way. Freedom is not Free.
P.S. The Veteran who was in the accident was not injured seriously. In fact, he was checked over and only suffered a few scrapes and bruises. Unfortunately, his Harley suffered extensive damage.