By Jeff Osborne
THREE RIVERS – Riders celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American Legion and recognizing the designation of U.S. Highway 281 as American Legion Memorial Highway rolled into Live Oak County on Thursday, Aug. 1 and were treated to lunch by American Legion Post 413 in Three Rivers.
The riders were making their way from the state’s southern border to Oklahoma, and the ride was to continue to Great Bend, Kansas, where it would culminate with the meeting of riders who had made their way down from the nation’s northern border with Canada.
“This has been a good ride and we’ve had great support,” said Steve Sweet, national vice commander of the American Legion. Sweet, who lives in Greenville, Miss., was riding with the motorcycle group making its way up from the Texas border.
Welcoming the Legion riders to Three Rivers were several members of the Patriot Guard, who support veterans, first responders and their families.
As part of the commemoration of the Legion, a banner was being signed by American Legion members. Once the two contingents — Legion motorcycle riders from the north and south — met in Kansas, banners from the north and south were to be joined and presented to the Legion’s national commander.
“Thank you for your hospitality, for the air conditioning, the food and all the handshakes and support,” Sweet told those gathered at the Legion Hall in Three Rivers.
Albert Martinez, district director for northern counties for U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, presented local Legion Commander Rosendo Pena with a flag that had flown over the U.S. capitol during the celebration.
Three Rivers Police Chief Vance Roberts welcomed the riders to the community, and thanked veterans for their service to the nation.
“There is no greater honor for the Three Rivers Police Department and law enforcement officers in this county than to be able to escort American veterans,” Roberts said.
“There’s a saying ‘Make America great again.’ You made America great years ago when you fought for our freedom. It’s because of you we have our freedom and we have our rights.
“We are proud to be able to assist American Legion Post 413 in receiving you in our community.”
Sweet presented a certificate of appreciation to Commander Pena for the efforts of American Legion Post 413.
“Thank you for doing what it takes to make the Legion thrive,” he said. “Thank you for all your hard work. We appreciate all your do on behalf of veterans, and also for the community.”
Jeff Osborne is the editor of The Progress. He can be reached at 361-786-3022 or email@example.com.