Engines Roared as the Honor Ride Arrived at The Highground on Memorial Day

Riders arrive at The Highground during the 2024 Honor Ride.

On May 27, 176 motorcyclists from across Wisconsin began their ride to honor fallen service members and Veterans for the14th Annual Honor Ride.

The Highground hosted nine routes this year: Appleton King/Waupaca, Wisconsin Rapids, Neillsville, Minocqua, Eau Claire, Wausau, Milwaukee/Madison, Boscobel/Tomah, and Onalaska. The routes met at the American Legion Post 73 in Neillsville for lunch and a chance to win one or more of the twenty-five raffle prizes available during the event. As the routes lined up for the Memorial Day ride through town, the Neillsville Volunteer Fire Department took the lead as escort followed by the Patriot Motorcycle Hearse as the motorcycles rode behind.

“Feeling and hearing the rumble of so many bikes really stirs emotions inside me on such a reflective day,” says a Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. This year, Leathernecks MC Road Warriors members performed the Honor Guard to place a Legacy Stone for a fallen Marine brother after the Memorial Day ceremony. Chris Pettis, executive director of The Highground, was honored to introduce retired Air Force Veteran Eric Chandler as the guest speaker. Eric was an F-16 pilot who was deployed three times to enforce the no-fly zone during Operation Southern Watch. Eric provided a phenomenal speech that won’t be forgotten. The Neillsville Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts helped with the Pledge of Allegiance and the somber ringing of the bell during the reading by guest volunteers of the 100 KIA names from the Korean War to present day.

Guests attend the Memorial Day Ceremony after the 2024 Honor Ride.

The Highground is beyond grateful for the volunteer ride organizers and leaders–Appleton King/Waupaca & Wisconsin Rapids: Bill Flemal and Doug Maurtiz with VFW Riders District 7, Neillsville: Dennis and Tracy Fick; Minocqua: Kennith Lanier; Eau Claire: David Louden; Wausau: John Napierala with Bull Falls HOG Chapter 4667; Milwaukee/Madison: Chad & Rhonnie Garcia; Boscobel/Tomah: Mark Konichek; and Onalaska: Eric Johnson with American Legion Riders District 7.

Thank you to the Neillsville Fire Department, the Neillsville Police Department, the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, the Tomah Police Department and the Black River Falls Police Department for providing safe passage to The Highground.

The Highground extends immense gratitude to the sponsors for their continued support of such a reverent day: American Legion Post 73, American Legion Riders District 7, WWIS Radio, Central Wisconsin Broadcasting, CVMA 45-6, Thrivent, Marc-On Shooting, ABE Concrete & Excavating LLC, Bonnie Henchen, Ruth Novak, JBC Screenprinting & Embroidery LLC, Patriot Motorcycle Hearse Co., Scheels, VFW Riders District 7, Department of Wisconsin VFW Riders, Leathernecks Motorcycle Club Road Warriors Chapter, Mark Kramer, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Dunham Sports, and CycleFish.

Information about next year’s Honor Ride will be available online later this year at thehighgroundhonorride.com.

The Highground is located at W7031 Ridge Rd, Neillsville, WI 54456. thehighground.us