On Saturday morning, May 25, anyone near Veterans’ Memorial Park in Camden could hear the roar as motorcyclists revved their engines at 10 a.m. to begin the 11th Annual Don’t Forget Our Vets Memorial Ride. Sponsored by the Benton County Veterans Memorial (BCVM) group, the 100-mile ride down the scenic back roads of Benton County hosted more than 75 riders and passengers from at least 21 different towns.
BCVM members James Ashby and Joey Troutt led the memorial ride. Participants would be quick to remind us that the ride is in honor of our American veterans, the people who served and sacrificed to secure our American freedoms. They ride in memory of those who sacrificed all, and for the families left behind that miss them every day. They also remember those who are prisoners of war or missing in action, service members who are gone but never forgotten.
At 6 p.m. on Friday, May 24, the group held its annual Blackout Cruise to usher in the weekend. The cruise takes about 30 minutes to ride from Memorial Park, down Main Street in Camden, around the town square, and back to Memorial Park.
The Don’t Forget Our Vets ride and BCVM membership is open to both Veterans and civilians. The proceeds from all events are used to honor Veterans and extend community involvement through education. BCVM is a non-profit organization funded mostly by private donations, although advertising for the ride this year was provided by the Tennessee River Resort District and announced by The Farm radio.
Little City Café provided breakfast during registration on Saturday morning. Ashby provided the pork shoulders for lunch. Berry Sign Co. provided the magnetic vehicle signs. The BCVM thanks each county for providing escorts during the ride, and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Squad for their support to ensure the safety of everyone. The BCVM appreciates all who helped or generously donated to continue the work of the BCVM and this special annual event.