At lunchtime, they appeared like a herd of mighty buffalo from the mist. A group called the Patriot Guard prominently showcased their chariots (mostly Harleys and Goldwings) on the Living Plaza along with the Dallas motorcycle cops bikes (I didn’t catch the brand), which towed the line at the entrance to City Hall. The Men and Women of the Patriot Guard, dressed in leather and denim regalia joined the neatly-pressed Men and Women in Blue for a Memorial Day celebration and dedication of the Living Wall display, which will be at City Hall from the the 23rd to the 28th.
The Guard, a band of merry bikers, were initially created to as a counter-protest unit dedicated to making sure that the funerals of fallen soldiers weren’t bothered by anti-war protesters. And if anti-war protesters did show, then they would drown out their chants with their loud, tough-revin’ bikes. The Guard, all volunteers, ride where they are needed. Only attending funerals, and leading funeral processions at the request of the families of fallen soldiers.
The gangs of bikers, dismounted and funneled into the City Hall foyer where remarks were made by the Mayor, the Police Chief, the Fire Department Chief and other service men and women cadre. The denim, leather, blue, and other professional outfits you see at City Hall all came together today. It is the start of the long weekend where we set aside a few days to remember, to reminisce, and reflect about the men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty, to which we owe a huge debt of gratitude.
At the end of the ceremony, the misty buffalo herds of bikers got back on their chariots and vanished into the lunchtime sun just as they had arrived. The Dallas motorcycle cops in a neat, contained single file line, and the Guard, well, they kind of meandered away. As they left, the boisterous echoes of the bikes left a resounding reminder of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Then the plaza was quiet, omniscient, gentle.