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Run For The Wall Returns To Cookeville Sunday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Run For The Wall Returns To Cookeville Sunday

The Run For The Wall event returns to Cookeville Sunday afternoon with 320 veterans riding motorcycles into town.

Director of Tourism Shan Stout said the bikers ride from California to Washington, D.C. to pay respect for all veterans, especially POWs and those killed in action. Stout said citizens are encouraged to line South Jefferson Avenue for when the veterans come off of I-40 at 4:30pm.

“There’s nothing like the feeling when you see all of these veterans on the motorcycles, and their motorcycles oftentimes have flags on them, or they’re painted in – in different styles that are very patriotic,” Stout said. “I mean it is, it is something to see when you see hundreds of these veterans riding down the street in single file.”

Stout said hundreds of people come out to cheer on the bikers each year. She said Cookeville is the only two-night stop on their whole journey.

“Any other city they land, they only stay for one night,” Stout said. “But a couple of years ago they said, ‘We love Cookeville so much, and we feel like the people are so hospitable and so welcoming, that we want to stay a second night and use this as kind of our recovery evening.’ So that they can kind of get a second wind and continue on their journey to Washington, D.C. So that’s a really big deal. I mean, of all the cities across the United States from California to Tennessee, the fact that they choose us as their two-night stop, we are just overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Stout said emergency services and law enforcement will be escorting the group to Leslie Town Centre once they get into the city. Stout said there will be two private dinners and an awards ceremony for the veterans during their stay.

“It’s almost like a veteran’s parade,” Stout said. “And it’s just a way for us to be able to show our support and honor their service and this goal of how they are remembering those that we have lost.”

Stout said there are multiple social media pages where people can express their support for the veterans, including the Visit Cookeville pages.

“They read every single thing that people post there,” Stout said. “It means a lot to them.”

Stout said the visitor’s bureau is working with Combat Hero Bike Build to raise funds for a custom motorcycle to allow a veteran who lost his legs to participate in future Run For The Wall events.


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