GAINESVILLE, TX - For miles onlookers could see hundreds of motorcycles, police vehicles, and American flags traveling down Interstate 35 Tuesday. They all finally arrived in Gainesville to honor a dozen beloved and herioic Americans.
As over 200 bikers rode from DFW airport to Gainesville, patriotism seemed to replace rush hour angst along the highway.
"People were standing by the side of the road with flags cheering, I had trouble seeing I was teared up, it is an indescribable feeling,” said Bill Cox, who rode in the processional today.
The escort was just the beginning of a week-long program for recipients of the Medal of Honor. Gainesville has been the host city for the Medal of Honor since 2000.
"Ten years later we've hosted 33 of the 91 living recipients and it's really the only Medal of Honor host city in the country,” said Mike McHorse, President of the Board.
This year 12 recipients are being honored in Gainesville. General Pat Brady received his Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War rescuing the wounded.
"There's nothing more rewarding in combat than saving somebody's life and you'll notice most of the men wearing this medal it’s because they saved somebody's life,” said Brady.
The men will speak to young people in the Texoma area tomorrow, telling their stories and sharing their wisdom.
"These guys exemplify valor and courage on the battle field for our young people to look up to,” said McHorse.
And after the turn out from today, it seems everyone involved with the Medal of Honor program is looking forward to the rest of the week with a banquet on Friday and parade Saturday morning.
"We are grateful to communities like this, this is America, this is the real soul of our country,” said Brady.
And as the riders headed home one by one, the feeling of pride lingers on in the Medal of Honor host city of Gainesville.