American Legacy Run Daily Journal

Dave Elmore and Duane Mercier are accompanying the Riders from the start in Indianapolis throughout the five days to Salt Lake City. They will report here with daily progress reports on the trip.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

American Legacy Run Photo Submissions

Got Photos?

Thanks to each and every one of you who participated in the 2006 American Legacy Run. By everyone’s account, it was an overwhelming success for the Legion, for the Riders, and certainly for the American Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Since moneys are still being received from Rider Chapters and, in the name of the Legacy Run, from Legion Departments we cannot yet give you a bottom-line figure. But we can say, and quite proudly, we are very close to doubling the goal of $100,000 that was set for the American Legacy Run’s inaugural event.

We all are excited at the chance to see the photos – including those you snapped – of the trek from Indy to Salt Lake City, so let’s get down to brass tacks. Here are the criteria we need for the photos that you submit from the Run.

1. Provide your name and state with your submission

2. All photos must be submitted in JPEG format

3. If possible please separate photos into day or event (example: Day 1 or Registration)

4. Photos must be less than 300k (800 x 600 pixels)

5. After you have selected your photos for submission please “zip” or “compress” them before attaching them to e-mail.

6. All photos are to be sent to

7. Deadline for submissions: October 13th 2006

8. Photos will be posted for viewing on or about October 31st 2006. We will be posting the location of the photos here on this blog.

9. We reserve the right to edit photographs as space dictates or to delete photos as required by legal counsel and good taste.

Many fine comments have been offered by those who were part of the Run and by others who wished they had been. We suspect many in that latter group will be with us in 2007 for the “Second Annual” American Legacy Run. Until then, those of you who made the Legacy Run this year can take pride in being part of an elite group that made American Legion history in 2006.

Questions or comments should be directed to e-mail address above.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Day Five - Salt Lake City

The day begins with glorious weather in Rock Springs, WY. We knew you could find just about anything with a Harley-Davidson logo, but this is just about the biggest we've ever seen.

Many thanks to Flaming Gorge Harley-Davidson for the hospitality as we began the last leg of our historic journey. The ride was short today, just under 200 miles. The only day we didn't encounter any rain.

We arrive at our only gas stop today at Evanston, WY. We rode with just over 60 bikes today. Those who have been riding with us from Indianapolis or picked up with us early in the ride, have mixed emotions today. The end is near. That's both good news and bad news. We've made some great friends on the ride.

One of the newer riders to join us is a young SSG stationed at Fort Huachuca, AZ and a member of the local Legion Post. Here he is riding into Salt Lake City.

Commander Bock took quite a ribbing for riding the motor home donated by a supporter for his use during the ride. At our final stop, he was presented with this model bike as a memento.

By all measures, the ride was a success. We arrived safely and ahead of schedule. Thus far, we have collected an estimated $80,000 plus more donations to be presented before and during convention. We'll keep you posted on the official total when it comes available.

Thank you all for your support, prayers and contributions of time and money.

Thank you especially to all of the riders who are now a special band of brothers and sisters, united in a great cause. We are so proud to be in your company.

Duane & Dave

Monday, August 21, 2006

Day Four - Rock Springs, WY

Very few freeway miles today. what glorious scenery riding through the Colorado Rockies!

One of Colorado's Finest offered an alternate route for us to bypass morning rush hour traffic through Denver. It was a beautiful scenic drive, but we ended up behind schedule (for the first time on the trip, we think.) We took US 40 through the mountains on the way to Craig, CO for a special Post dedication. We received police escort all the way! Did we mention the beautiful scenery?

We were honored to attend the rededication of Post 62 in Craig, Colorado. It was renamed the Mark Anthony Evans-Lawton Post in honor of a local National Guard soldier killed in the line of duty. It is for him...and his children that we organized the event. It was pointed out that the Post was one of the first in Colorado, chartered in 1919. We continue to serve our comrades and their families to this day.

Speaking of great scenery, how about this custom ride owned by a Legion Rider from AZ?

At the end of a long day, we end up in Rock Springs, nearly 12 hours after departure. Riders were tired but excited about the wonderful ride. And now we look forward with mixed emotions to the final ride into SLC tomorrow.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Day Three - Longmont, CO

Toto, I think we're still in Kansas!

Today seemed an exceptionally long day because of an early start, and another time zone change. But in keeping with the previous days, we choose to eat early and eat often. Again, the Legion Posts along the way are so generous and gracious to all.

From Hays, Kansas to Longmont Colorado today. The riders kept mostly dry with just a few showers to welcome us into Colorado.

Commander Tom continues to rake in the checks. We're rumored to be at the $65,000 point at the end of today. We had some riders from AZ join us with a check for over $1,000 from their post. But the contributons of $50 and $100 from individuals are just as exciting.

Tomorrow we get to leave the interstate for awhile and ride the beautiful National Highway, US 40 into Craig CO. We'll be helping to dedicate a post there in honor of a fallen comrade.

Even passing gas requires teamwork here.

Arriving at Commander Bock's home Post in Aurora, CO.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day Two - Hays, KS

Today was a long one. Almost 450 , miles in the saddle, despite quite a few stops, will wear you down. It started nicely with dry almost clear skies but brought some pretty substantial rain the last few hours. We saw a few storm clouds in the middle of Kansas worthy of a wicked witch on a bicycle.

The scheduled highlight of the day was a visit to historic Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where LtGen Petraeus, Commanding General and his staff treated us to a special wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the Buffalo Soldiers of long ago. If you aren't familiar with who they are, do some research. They are a special part of our heritage. The ceremony was scheduled to be held at the beautiful monument on Post, but was moved indoors due to threatening weather.

Our Lunch stop at the Leavenworth Legion Post resulted in still more donations to Commander Bock for the Legacy fund. Checks for another $4,000 or so rolled in bringing the rumored total to almost $50,000 already.

The surprise highlight of the day came at an overpass in Topeka where the riders were treated to a salute by about a dozen members of local Post 400 with glorious flags waving in the brightest sunlight up to now. It was a wonderful show of support for the Legacy Run and also had nearly every car and truck passing below also waving and honking their horns in support of our flag and The American Legion.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Day One - Columbia, MO

Today was a good day. We started from Post 64 on the west side of Indianapolis. Kick stands up right on time at 8:00 am. We started with about 75 bikes and picked up a few along the at each stop. Some to ride the rest of the way into Salt Lake City, and others for a short day ride.

Within 20 miles of the start it began to rain, however, and soaked the riders intermittently all the way into Missouri. Then it got warm. But there were very few complaints from any of the riders. "We got wet and then we got dry. It pretty much evened itself out." was one comment.

Lunch was great in Effingham. The post there was very gracious and well organized. Thank you Post 120!

We've been told to prepare for wind in Kansas tomorrow. Let's hope it's a dry wind.

We continue to raise money for the Legacy fund. At last night's kickoff Commander Bock raked in over $20,000 in donations from riders carrying checks from their various Posts. I remember two standing ovations last night. One for the National Commander as he entered the room. The other was for the young girl who brought us $32 for the Legacy Fund.

Something tells me this is going to be a long and emotional ride.

Tomorrow's highlight will be a visit to the Buffalo Soldier monument at Fort Leavenworth Kansas.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kickoff Event

Tonight will be the kickoff event at Post 64 in Indianapolis. National Commander Bock will speak. We'll give some safety briefings. Everyone will get signed up and ready to go. The forecast is for rain to the west of us tomorrow, but the morning should be clear for a great start.

Tomorrow's ride will end in Columbia, MO. Will post pictures and a summary of the day's events once we get settled.

Now, where can I get one of those cool shirts?

Duane Mercier

American Legacy Run Nearing Start

The American Legion Riders will be enroute to Salt Lake City beginning Friday, August 18th, where the American Legion National Convention begins on August 29th.

But this ride isn’t just about getting to Convention. It’s about raising money for the American Legacy Scholarship fund to assist children of men and women in uniform who have died in the War on Terrorism.

For the five days on the road, Dave Elmore and Duane Mercier will report the stories, events and bring you photos from the run.