North Dakotans are Proudly Patriotic — Especially Bikers

c small flags on Regent main street

In the last half-century as an American, I’ve hung with diverse cultures and people.  I’m able to say assuredly that America lives…she is alive and well in the hearts of all the people with whom I’ve associated, cowboys, Native Americans and bikers.  Patriotism is not forced.  It is spontaneous and heartfelt.

That uniquely American culture here in the west, cowboys, is one of the most solid, bedrock community of patriots you can find.  Pride in America, loyalty and love is evident among cowboys. 06-12-10 cowboy under the flags 1 copy At the annual Wing Rodeo (a little small-town, low-key rodeo in Wing, North Dakota) flags flap furiously behind the rodeo queen who has the honor of riding the arena as people stand and applaud.   When posted in the center of the arena, the announcer does not have to say, “please stand, remove your hats…”  It’s too late. People are already standing, already placing their hands over their hearts before the singer renders the National Anthem. It’s automatic.AM Flag rodeo

mike old scouts flagOn the other side of the cultural divide, patriotism unites two distinctly different cultures. At the Old Scout’s cemetery scout_monumenton the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation,  legendary scouts who can trace their lineage back to the 7th Cavalry of 1875 are honored. Every generation, every conflict is represented at the cemetery where markers and flags mark the proud military history of Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara scouts.

At a recent trip to the cemetery, I stopped long enough to honor Mr. Howling Wolf where the prairie winds had toppled his flag.

At every Native American event, the flag song, the honor song and the American Flag are part of the moment.

Yes, patriotism is alive in America — voluntary, spontaneous and freely expressed with emotion and gratitude.  Men shed tears, at the unfurled red white and blue.  Memories are replayed and hearts are bowed.

That is no more true than it is among the most patriotic groups I’ve ever associated with — bikers.  Even 1%-ers such as the Hells Angels and other outlaw groups will never let anyone disrespect our flag.  These clubs are populated with veterans and patriots.  Sep112011 bikes with flags sgntre

Sep112011 saluting the flag sgntre

 

It is because  the motorcycle culture is solidly grounded by veterans and patriots that when the Westboro Baptist Church defiled patriotism with venomous hatred, bikers responded with the birth of the Patriot Guard Riders.

 

 

At first, shielding the grieving families at military funerals, the Patriot Guard Riders have become a fixture at funerals and other military events. You’ll find them standing post, flying flags and honoring the military and America.

 

09-24-10 PGR flagline at cemetary

 

Many people have been slow to recognize the committed patriotism of motorcycle clubs.  However, this year, 2014, the Memorial Day ceremony at North Dakota Veterans Cemetery was prepared for motorcyclists.   They paraded in to the grounds, stopping all traffic on the highway, parking in reserved areas.

Nearly 400 bikers paraded in to North Dakota's Veterans Cemetery on Memorial Day 2014 to mark the annual event.

Nearly 400 bikers paraded in to North Dakota’s Veterans Cemetery on Memorial Day 2014 to mark the annual event.

 

HP Salutes bikers Wtrmrk

 

The biker parade in to the Memorial Day 2014 event was lead by the American and POW flags.

The biker parade in to the Memorial Day 2014 event was lead by the American and POW flags.

 

US and POW flag wtrmrk

 

Once inside, they were directed to park around the perimeter of the center of the sacred grounds.


bikes in foreground wtrmrk

 

A select 50 veterans who are also bikers were stationed at the half-mast flag poles that ring the center of the cemetery. Their role was to raise the flags to full mast when ceremonies were finished.Raising the flag wtrmrk

So the next time you see a group of bikers and intermingled in the mix is the American Flag,  know the flat is there because of a deep sense of pride in America, her flag and that for what she stands.  Many groups and cultures in America fly the flag even when popular sentiment devalues America and her proud heritage.  You can be sure, that those who seek to disrespect the American Flag or attempt to elevate other nationalities above that of America, they’ll get in trouble with this group of patriots.

Bikers are a proudly patriotic group and you can be proud that they are.

c flags in to Regent ii

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to “North Dakotans are Proudly Patriotic — Especially Bikers”

  1. […] A photoblog from the two wheeled adventures on two lanes with one camera. The stories behind the images on http://mykuhlsphotography.com « North Dakotans are Proudly Patriotic — Especially Bikers […]

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