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Fraser Valley should find a way to keep Veteran’s Rally

To the Editor:

I’m not a “biker” nor am I a spokesman for any veteran’s group. I’m a citizen of the Fraser Valley and the Town of Winter Park, Colorado, and I’m quite proud of our Valley community.

I know our values are morally, socially and patriotically solid. While I am a veteran and fly our flag at home, I really don’t think I dwell on my past service. Really, most of my reflections in that regard come with the occasional vignette on past experiences I write for the entertainment of my family and our Fraser Valley Library Writers Group.



For the past two years however, my pride and patriotism have gotten a boost in August when we host the biker Rally and my pride in our community rises commensurately with this event.

I gaze with pride at The Vietnam Memorial Wall, the lists of names and numbers of those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation during all of our nation’s wars and at the assorted military hardware on display on our athletic fields. Included in that pride is the sight of visiting (biker) hordes that sport our colors on parade and make the case for never forgetting those servicemen that are still carried on the nation’s roles as Missing in Action (MIA) and Prisoner Of War (POW) … and there are lots of them in these categories. My pride rests with the knowledge that “we care.”



We’re now advised that while we are still in negotiations on the matter, we are considering ending this partnership with these bikers and patriots. Reasons given for this potential shift in hospitality toward this group of visitors are probably well founded in pragmatic rationale and past, heavy Town/Valley governmental-related efforts expended to just “pull off” the events.

I’m here to state that these efforts are appreciated by this citizen and by the bikers themselves who’ve so stated this over and over to me during the breakfasts served for them by our Lion’s Club and in routine conversations around Town. I don’t think I’m the only “local” who is buoyed by this praise and its undertone of recognition of our patriotism?

Do we need this Rally and its peripherals? We need them only as much as we need the underlying and periodic patriotic boost they provide through their expressions of appreciation for our nation’s warriors and for the extreme sacrifices made by them. I claim we need this “boost.”

The Rally causes our flag to be proudly displayed and displayed properly. It causes our Blue Star Highway Memorial placard to be retrieved from storage and proudly displayed just off the sidewalk in Hideaway Park. It causes our local politicians and veterans to make their way to the podium to extol our close ties to the Rally’s causes.

It causes us to play our National Anthem publicly. It instills in all of us a very strong patriotic sentiment.

The Rally itself and all these local patriotic acts combine to cause us to reflect on the underlying reasons for the Rally’s existence in the first place … and should make us very proud to be its hosts. I hope you will join me in asking our elected officials to find good reason to extend our annual invitation to these “bikers” and their patriotic message.

Howard Venezia

Winter Park


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