(Beaver Dam) The Patriot Tour is moving through Wisconsin this weekend. The tour – now in its eleventh year – is coordinated by the non-profit Nation of Patriots, raising money for veterans by taking one American flag through all 48 continental states via city-to-city motorcycle relay. Because of the coronavirus, the 110-day, 14,500-mile tour was virtually reconfigured beginning with its launch in Arizona. However, the flag travelled to Pennsylvania a week ago as in-person events began resuming. There were around 100 people in Beaver Dam Saturday for the flag transfer.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please rise to your feet and put your hands together as we welcome the riders and the flag back to Beaver Dam,” announced Master of Ceremonies and longtime board member Brad Weber.
Retired Beaver Dam Firefighter-Paramedic Jeff Fuhrman, who served in the US Coast Guard, is the flag bearer heading to Fennimore on Sunday. The flag then travels to Iowa and 20 more states to its final destination is in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 12.
“One of the hardest things that we’ve had to figure out in our eleven year history was whether or not in the face of a global pandemic, we should or we should not release the American flag onto the Patriot Tour,” said Bill Sherer, founder of the Nation of Patriots, “Obviously we’ve made our decision.”
In the end, Sherer says it came down to courage and the message to send to our veterans and the next generation.
“Besides its primary goal to raise money for the families of wounded veterans, this tour was designed to be courageous,” he said, “whether it be in times of peace, war, uncertainty, civil unrest, whether its politics, the color of our skin, whatever it is that has separated us as human beings, the Patriot Tour was designed to ride above it all, to promote courage over weakness; strength over fear; pervasiveness; and above all unity.”
Sherer says the unity of this effort demonstrates that there is something to fight for.
“We will remember their service, we will never forget their sacrifice and…it is for them, and it is because of them, that we are today, and we forever shall be, a nation of patriots.”
The Wisconsin leg of the Patriot Tour is dedicated to the late Chris Daly, a Horicon-native who served his country for 30 years in the US Navy and Army National Guard. Daly, who was in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, passed away earlier this year.
More information is at: https://www.nationofpatriots.com/
Listen to remarks by Nation of Patriots founder Bill Sherer, along with the flag transfer ceremony, here:
Listen to our conversations with flag bearer Jeff Fuhrman and Master of Ceremonies Brad Weber, of the Nation of Patriots Board of Directors, on WBEV’s Community Comment: