Every NMRM Assoc. Member has real reason to celebrate. On August 2nd of this year (2014), we held the official dedication and groundbreaking ceremonies for the new National Motorcycle Riders Memorial.
For the first time ever, the motorcycling community now has a national memorial to fallen riders! Many of us have worked very hard to see this historic goal fulfilled, and WE DID IT!!!!
If you have not yet had the chance to visit the new memorial site on Hwy 19 (the John Day Hwy) in Oregon, it is definitely something you are going to want to put on your list of things to do in the near future.
Over a hundred people attended the dedication event and many reported that, after taking the stroll down the memorial roadway, they were left with goosebumps. This site, (and this project) is as impressive as it is ambitious. Even though the cleanup and preparation of the site has barely begun, our tour along the roadway was a memorable one.
We can all be proud of what we have accomplished in less than 3 short years.
But this accomplishment must not be the end of our efforts. It is, in fact, only the beginning! We now have the memorial site, and it has been dedicated to every fallen rider in this country. But the development of this beautiful site must now move forward.
It is up to all of us, the riders, to ensure that this project does not stall due to lack of funding or commitment. We must work even harder now, and redouble our efforts to let the motorcycling community know what we have done, and what still remains to do. We must continue our fundraising efforts with renewed enthusiasm, knowing that only proper funding will see this project completed.
There are major features of the memorial which will require much more funding than what is currently available. The visitor's center must be built. The on-site engraving equipment must be purchased and housed properly. Areas along the roadway must be repaired, and other areas must be prepared to receive the bricks and other memorial media that is waiting to be installed.
The enthusiasm of the motorcycling community has been incredible, for this project, but we must now turn our enthusiasm toward raising the funds that will ensure that the development of the site proceeds smoothly and steadily.
The IRS has finally granted our 501c3 non-profit status, so all donations to the memorial are tax-deductible. Hopefully this will encourage not only individuals, but also businesses, corporations, and other groups and organizations to donate more generously. But WE must seek out these opportunities and approach potential new donors to let them know our needs.
The NMRM Assoc. membership is still relatively small. This means that we must all work a little harder to continue meeting our goals. We must continue to encourage our friends and family to become members and get involved. We must continue to encourage the groups that we belong to, to support our efforts and help organize more fundraising events all over this country. And we, as individuals, must take advantage of everyday opportunities to approach potential new donors and share our enthusiasm for this project, in the hope that they, too, will lend their support to this historic endeavor.
We have truly made great strides in a very short time. Many of our early skeptics, who thought it was a great idea, but doubted that we'd get it done, are now becoming new supporters.
I believe in the tremendous power and commitment of the motorcycling community. I have seen the difference a few bikers can make toward a shared goal. And I believe that, if we work together, we will succeed in creating a memorial that will touch the lives of generations of bikers yet to come.
I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work...... Are you?