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July 2, 2009

Freedom Riders

‘Some Gave All’ tour hits the road

American flags lined the Madison County Courthouse Wednesday as about 100 people gathered to pay tribute to three fallen central Kentucky soldiers before taking off on the “Some Gave All” motorcycle tour.

The soldiers honored Wednesday were Pfc. Theodore M. “Coty” West of Richmond, Spc. William G. Bowling of Beattyville and Sgt. 1st Class John D. Morton of Stanton.

West was killed Nov. 29, 2006, when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat in Baghdad, Iraq. Bowling was one of four soldiers killed April 1, 2007, also by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, and Morton was killed Dec. 15, 2005, when his dismounted patrol was attacked by enemy forces in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan.

Richmond Mayor Connie Lawson and Steve Robinson, commander of the National Guard’s 238th Regiment based in Muhlenburg County, were the keynote speakers at Wednesday’s event that included a a musical performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and a 21-gun salute.

“This may be the single most important event that we’ll host in the city of Richmond,” said Connie Lawson, Richmond’s mayor. “It really makes me humble and proud to be an American.”

Lawson presented a personal monetary donation to the “Some Gave All” event.

“I’m a big believer in putting my money where my mouth is,” she said.

Another check for $750 was donated by the employees at the Richmond Walmart.

Store manager Todd Maggard said his employees heard about the event, thought it was a great cause and hosted a bake sale in front of the store.

The “Some Gave All” bike rally was organized by Dwight Lewis, a mortgage professional and a National Guard major.

“He (Lewis) designed this motorcycle ride to honor Kentucky’s fallen warriors,” Robinson said. “We want to honor their lives with this rally, so we’re here to say thank you to the families of these fallen warriors. We extend to you our sympathies and our gratitude.”

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