RAINELLE, WV (WVNS) — Run For The Wall, a 10-day motorcycle ride from Ontario, California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and a beloved event for community members in Rainelle, West Virginia, is canceled following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve got some veterans that have been coming for so long, they actually have met kids at the school who now have their own kids that come to this school,” Erin Justice, a Councilor at Rainelle Elementary School, said.
Students typically gather on the lawn of Rainelle Elementary School, many with autograph books, in anticipation of the veterans.
“When we found out the event was cancelled, it was pretty devastating,” Justice said. “We were all pretty upset about it, but we understand that they can’t come with a pandemic.”
It is not just the kids who will be missing the bikers. Said Elazaley, owner of Alfredo’s, said he will miss out on business.
“Every year, I get very good business with them, with the bikers,” Elazaley said. “This year, I don’t know what’s going on.”
Elazaley said he and his employees will miss seeing the veterans ride through town.
While the nations’ brave are not visiting Rainelle this year, people wishing to pay their respects can visit the Mountaineer Veterans Garden of Honor. More than 11,000 flags, each representing a solider from West Virginia killed in action from World War I until today, stand tall on the front lawn of the Rainelle Medical Center.