Meridian, Miss. It was a surprise that many bikers weren't expecting as they drove over the bridge into Meridian. There waiting for them were many residents of the community and local military who were standing on bridges overlooking the interstate and waving flags in support of their mission. Run for The Wall has always been about showing support for servicemen missing in action as well as prisoners of war and Sharran Mead of El Paso, Texas, said the sight she saw while entering the city was an emotional experience.
"I use to have eye makeup on and now I don't because you have a bucket of tears and you cry," said Mead. "It makes your heart warm to see the patriotism and the people, especially the young kids."
With the riders making numerous stops all across the US, Meridian is by far one of their favorite places to stop.
"If you ask any of the old time bikers who made this trip, this is the friendliest town that they come through," said Run for the Wall Meridian Coordinator Jim Swartz. "One because they people out on the road to welcome them over the bridges. Last year we had the flyover, we really go out to welcome them."
Patriotism is defined as a devotion to one's country and many in attendance said the South is their favorite place to ride through. Deb Advisor Terrie Carlisle, said the patriotism shown to the riders comes from Meridian's background.
"Meridian has always been friendly to our armed forces," said Carlisle. "We have the Naval Air Station here, we have the guard base here. We've always supported our troops and so therefore, we're going to support our veterans and their families. We're just a good group of folks."
The riders are expected to leave around 7:30 tomorrow morning and arrive in Tuscaloosa. During their brief stop they will spend time with veterans at the VA Medical Center before heading to Washington D.C..