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The Patriot Guard Riders: They Ride to Honor the Fallen

by Pamela Leavey

(John Tlumacki/ Globe Staff)

There’s been a few stories in the news in recent months about the Patriot Guard Riders, who “ride their motorcycles to every funeral of every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine who dies in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The Patriot Guard Riders were formed last year in Kansas to shield families from a fringe group of protesters associated with Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. The protesters had traveled to funerals across the country to spread a belief that the war is God’s vengeance against society for acceptance of homosexuality.

The Boston Globe reports today that the Patriot Guard Riders has become a “fast-growing group” that also “includes lifelong civilians and relatives of slain troops who want to show their respects.”

Today, members of the Patriot Guard Riders were “expected at the funeral for Private Nicholas Cournoyer, 25, of Gilmanton, N.H.” who was killed on May 18 in Iraq by a roadside bomb.

Read more about the Massachusetts chapter of the Patriot Guard here. Cheers to the Patriot Guard Riders for their service to the families of the fallen.

5 Responses to “The Patriot Guard Riders: They Ride to Honor the Fallen”

  1. This past week I attended the funeral Mass for Marine Adam Conboy, in Manayunk, Pennsylvania.
    Adam was killed in Iraq by the accidental discharge of his fellow Marine’s weapon.
    The church was surrounded by motorcycles (including a corps of police motorcycles) and Veterans, all with American flags.
    A horsedrawn carriage ( reminiscent of the days of Abraham Lincoln ) carried Adam in his flag-draped casket,
    escorted by a detachment of Marines in dress blues, to his final resting place on a hill across the Schuylkill River.
    The motorcycles followed. The loud humming of the bikes engines woke up the sleepy town and the streets were soon alive with people. Church bells rang, birds sang, jackhammers ceased in silent tribute allowing the river waters below us to be heard keeping time with the rythem of our beating hearts……

  2. Band of Patriots.

  3. I don’t have to support the war but I want to honor the dead from this war.

    Calvin J. Everly

  4. Calvin Everly

    We hear you here.

  5. To Robert Greer: your eloquent and powerful imagery just brought tears to my eyes as I sat here reading this.

    KJ: Thank you for recognizing who were are.

    Calvin: You’ve captured the essense, in one sentence, of why many, many folks join the Patriot Guard Riders — and at the same time stated the spirit of what we are all about.

    Pamela: God Bless You for noticing the heart-felt actions of thousands of Americans — and Thank you for the mention in your blog.

    Respectfully,

    Kurt “VenturaCowboy” Mayer
    National Director, Public Relations
    Patriot Guard Riders

    kurt@patriotguard.org
    http://www.patriotguard.org