- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:21
- Published on Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:21
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King George, Va. - - Nearly 1,000 bikes left Spotsylvania High School at 11 a.m. Sunday. And precisely at high noon, they roared across Muddy Creek into King George County.
The bikers were participating in the 3rd annual Some Gave All (SGA) Frazier-Mason Memorial Ride in honor of two local men who lost their lives in the war on terror.
Despite having an official tri-county Sheriff’s escort, the procession of bikers two to three wide in the travel lane took a full ten minutes to cross into the county from Stafford.The Frazier-Mason ride was founded in honor of King George resident U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas “Nick” C. Mason and Spotsylvania resident U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Joshua “Josh” J. Frazier. Nick was killed by a suicide bomb attack on his unit’s mess tent on Dec. 21, 2004. Stafford resident Sgt. David A. Ruhren U.S. Army National Guard was also killed in that same attack near Mosul, Iraq. Both men were 20 years old.
On Feb. 6, 2007, a sniper in Ramadi, Iraq killed 24-year-old Spotsylvania resident and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Joshua “Josh” J. Frazier.
Nick and Josh both planned to purchase motorcycles when they finished their tour of duty in Iraq. And those that knew of their passion for bikes organized a ride in their honor in 2007.
Nearly 500 bikers participated in the first ride from Josh’s alma mater, Spotsylvania High School to Nick’s alma mater, King George High School. When they arrived at their destination a crowd of several hundred were waiting to join in paying homage to the fallen warriors.
Three years later, the crowd is even larger consisting of bikers from around the region and those supporters that participate in the organized ride in their cars. Other area residents still drop in on the annual rally to pay their respects to the families of both men.
And both men’s families now also honor their sons by riding in the event. Vic Mason and Rick Frazier ride bikes custom painted in their sons’ honor.
This year’s event provided entertainment by the bands Cops and Robbers and Blackstone, and demonstrations by Stafford and Spotsylvania Sheriff’s mounted patrols and The 540 Boys stunt team. A contest was also held to determine the crowd’s favorite bike with votes taking the form of donations.
A memorial service complete with an honor guard from Spotsylvania’s American Legion Post 320, a bagpiper, and a military benediction rounded out the day’s activities.
Virginia’s First District congressman, the Honorable Rob Wittman also participated in the rally. Serving on the House Armed Forces Committee he takes the opportunity annually to not just pay his respects to the families of the fallen, but also to lead an effort to support our military on a daily basis.
Sunday he led a round of applause for all who serve in the Armed Forces and told the crowd, “Thank them and make sure to do that each and every day. And never forget the service and sacrifice of those that serve our country.” He also called for the crowd to be supportive of the families of those who serve for the sacrifices they make every day.
Executive Officer of Naval Support Activity South Potomac Dahlgren Division Cmdr. Dennis Quick discussed President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the Battle Hymn of the Republic. He noted that our government ”of the people and by the people” does not come without loss and concluded his remarks saying, “Freedom is never free.”
Although Sen. Richard Stuart (R – 28) was unable to attend due to an urgent last minute family obligation, he has supported previous rides where he spoke in support of Veteran’s and the military.
Del. Albert Pollard (I – 99) was in attendance and made brief remarks in support of our troops.
The original Frazier-Mason ride was the catalyst for developing the Some Gave All Foundation that supports and honors all military. The Mason and Frazier families joined forces with proprietors of Fredericksburg’s Bid Daddy Leather Doug and Michelle Cantrell to form the 501(c) 3 charity organization.
Since its original inception the foundation has reached out to all Veterans. Every year scholarships are awarded in honor of both Nick and Josh and funds are donated to other Veterans’ causes. The organization presented a check for $10,000 at this year’s rally to help send Veterans to the wheelchair Games.
Although the event can be a tough day for the families, it has shed light on Veteran’s causes and serves as a source of support for families of all fallen warriors. For details on honoring a Veteran or to make a donation, visit www.SomeGaveAll.org.
Video of the riders entering King George on Route 3 is available at www.journalpress.com
by Marty van Duyne