Hundreds of motorcyclists came roaring into the city, and Main Street was closed to everyone but the Run For The Wall riders.

“They brought 280 motorcyclists,” said Jackee Pugh, Belmont County tourism director. “Over 300 people were here, and these women and men have traveled from California to Washington, DC to the Veterans Memorial Wall. And now they’re making a second leg of their journey from the Vietnam Wall in DC to the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Illinois.

“We took the names of veterans from the Vietnam Memorial, we carried them the whole way, and our mission ended when we took their bios to the wall and said their names out loud so they’re never forgotten,” said Dr. Kathy Hunter, a veteran and a physician with the VA.

“It’s not Veterans Day,” explained Retired Army Col. Bill Mulvey, the keynote speaker. “We are not honoring all veterans. We are honoring those who died in the service of our country. That’s what today’s about.”

“May we honor their memory,” prayed Rev. Tom Jones, of the Thoburn United Methodist Church. “May we value their sacrifice. May we remember their dedication and service.”

There was music from members of the St. Clairsville High School Band, there was a 21-gun salute from an area veterans group and Taps was played.

The event lasted about an hour, then they roared off to continue their journey.

Run For The Wall’s mission is to promote healing among all veterans, to demand an accounting for all POWs and MIAs, and to honor the memory of those killed in action.