CHANDLER, Ariz. — 12News community reporter Rachel Cole is in Chandler where the 14th Annual Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Memorial Torch Motorcycle Ride will cruise through town on their 21-day ride.
As Executive Director Warren Williamson tells us, the Fallen Soldiers Memorial Flame is being towed behind a 36-Foot Tribute Cruiser RV. It lists all the names of the 48 fallen service members they're honoring on this trip.
Williamson said this year's tribute ride is through six states as riders make fallen soldier home visits for Gold Star families.
"This is the least we can do to make sure these families know; we will never forget and always honor the sacrifice of their loved ones,” Williamson said.
It was a somber moment at Elks Lodge #2429 but one of so much significance.
"The flame stays lit for 21 days, as the ride to Arlington continues, until the closing ceremony in Oregon," he added.
The City of Chandler and the state specifically honored the service and sacrifice of Marine Sgt. Trevor Cook. This is the very first time in the 14-year history of Tribute to Fallen Soldiers that the Fallen Soldiers Memorial Flame has visited Arizona.
"Normally, we do the ride in the summer and it's simply too hot for the riders to go through the Grand Canyon State but because we pushed it back to September we are able to go through Arizona," Williamson said.
The ride will conclude back in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday at American Legion Post #83 on River Road, where the Fallen Soldiers Memorial Flame will be formally extinguished in a proper Closing Ceremony.