DESPITE CHALLENGING WEATHER THE 2021 AMERICAN TRIBUTE RIDE IS SUCCESSFUL
The 2021 American Tribute Ride was held on Saturday the 24th of July. Despite the rainy morning, the sun came out about 45 minutes prior to the start. The day started with a short auction of some of the donated, handcrafted items along with a presentation from Assemblyman Timothy Ramthun recognizing our first responders and those 9 hometown heroes that passed away in the past year.
As part of the opening session, Assistant Chair Dennis Grover, presented a $1,500.00 check to President Jim Luty of the Wisconsin Firefighter and EMS Memorial. The intent is to use this money to help pay for a much needed out storage building at the park.
After stops at Mount Calvary Fire Department Picnic, Glenbeulah, Town of Sheboygan Fire Departments the convoy of 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers and 4-wheelers [Jeeps] we came to Kiel Fire Station.
Many of family and department members were present for our Memorial Service. Those we honored were:
Private First Class Evan Bath, U.S. Marine Corps End of Service July 30, 2020
Deputy Richard “Rick” Treadwell, age 61, due to COVID-19 end of Watch 8.22.2020; Dane Co.
Private Michael Wise, age 29 U.S. Army, End of Service September 13, 2020
EMS Captain Kelly Lynn Raether; Town of Ixonia Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services; DOD 11-26-2020; due to COVID-19
Firefighter Dave Tomlinson; Poynette/Dekorra Fire Department; DOD 12-06-2020; due to COVID 19
Chief Donald Kittelson; Clayton Fire Department; DOD 12-17-2020; due to COVID 19.
Petty Officer Third Class Dylan K. Kennedy, 21, End of Service April 21st, 2021, United States Navy.
Josh Fedie of Boscobel FD and Dept. of Corrections, DOD May 31, 2021, due to COVID-19
It was a moving and inspirational service with 31 survivors present. This year the memorial service included a Missing Responder Table. The table consisted of the following items:
- A small table set for one, symbolizing the isolation of the absent first responder member.
- A white tablecloth to symbolize the pure intentions of the service members who responded to symbolize all those that serve our country and our communities to the best of their abilities and training.
- A single rose in the vase symbolizing the blood that first responder members have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom and safety of the United States of America and its communities. This rose also represents the family and friends who keep the faith while honoring their loved one.
- The red ribbon represents a love of communities, state and country that inspired the first responder members to serve the country.
- A slice of lemon on the bread plate that represents the bitter fate of the lost loved ones.
- Salt sprinkled on the bread plate that symbolizes the tears shed by waiting families
- An inverted glass to represent the fact that the fallen cannot partake.
- A Biblerepresents the spiritual strength and faith to sustain the lost.
- A lit candle symbolizes a light of hope that lives in hearts to illuminate the missing’s way home.
- An empty chair to represent the absence of the fallen.
According to Chair Ron Naab, 151 vehicles and 224 riders were part of the event. This year the ride included a number of Jeeps from a local Jeep Club. The routed covered 91 miles, going through the famous “Holy Land” in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Counties. Assistant to the Chair Dennis Grover stated, “We are grateful to the many fire departments along with assistance from Fond du Lac, Sheboygan and Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department in assuring intersection coverage for our participants?”