Wilson County’s veterans park and museum is one step closer to reality, thanks to motorcyclists from throughout the mid-state.
About 150 motorcyclists turned out for the June 29 Honor Ride for Veterans, netting about $3,000, according to Veterans Service Officer Bernie Ash.
“[The event] was extremely successful,” said Ash, who helped organize the ride.
“I’ve been riding [motorcycles] since I was 14,” said Ash. “Since I’m familiar with the motorcycle groups in this area, I know they’re always wanting to find an excuse to ride, especially when it involves helping veterans.”
Motorcycle groups Rolling Thunder, CMT A-Bate, the Christian Motorcycle Association, the Goldwing Riders Association and the Roughnecks all turned out for the event.
“The highlight of the day was seeing 150 motorcycles leaving the fairground,” said Ash. “I was riding [in about the middle of the group], and at one point I looked back in my rearview mirror, and it was just headlights as far as the eye could see.”
The group left the James E. Ward Ag Center at 10 a.m. and made a circle around the outer edge of Wilson County before returning to the fairgrounds at noon.
“The Sheriff’s department, Lebanon police and Mt. Juliet police helped us throughout the ride,” said Ash.
Ash said all proceeds will go to the construction of the park and museum, which is estimated to cost a total of $1.2 million.
When completed, the museum will house exhibits from the Civil War through to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ash said the museum portion of the project should open sometime in 2014.
The Veterans Service Office will then be relocated to a space in the museum from its current location at the county courthouse.