Face of America Ride rolls through Gettysburg
More than 500 bicycle and hand-cycle riders rolled through the Gettysburg Battlefield on Sunday. It was the final leg of the 110-mile Face of America Ride. The two-day ride started Saturday at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA. After staying the night in Frederick, Maryland, they continued on to Pennsylvania.
The Face of America ride is held every year and honors military veterans and first-responders, and their dedication to their service.
About 150 of this year’s riders are wounded or disabled veterans. Crossing the finish line is something many of them were determined to do after their injuries.
“My motto is, ‘I don’t adapt to life, I make life adapt to me’,” says rider Donna Pratt.
Lee Kuxhause, also a rider in the event says, “It hurts, but it’s a good hurt because it feels so good to get out and active again.”
FOX43 Photojournalist Rebecca Knier was there as the group was cheered on to the finish line at the All Star Sports Complex at the Eisenhower Hotel.
“I was tired until we did this last little stretch and everybody’s here cheering you on and now I’m just exhilarated,” Kuxhause said.
Also welcoming the riders was Rep. Scott Perry, of the 4th District and also a member of the PA Army National Guard who served in Iraq in 2008 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“There’s great support in this great country of ours and this kind of brings all of that together in one event and one place,” Rep. Perry says.
Held annually since 2007, the Face of America ride attracts riders from across the United States.
This year’s ride, with 150 injured veterans from the United States and Canada, is the largest number for a World T.E.A.M. Sports event since the non-profit’s founding in 1993.
The 2014 Face of America is one of the best-attended bicycle rides in the Washington D.C. region, and will be the largest World T.E.A.M. Sports event since the organization’s 2002-2003 Face of America 9/11 commemorative rides from Ground Zero in New York City to the Pentagon.
Face of America riders come from across the United States, with riders registered from at least 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Proceeds from the ride pay for the expenses of the event, including travel, lodging and meals for the participating injured veterans. Any remaining funds raised from the event are applied to upcoming events from the non-profit, including this June’s CanAm Veterans’ Challenge, a new two-week ride from Ottawa, Ontario to Washington D.C. with teams of Canadian and American veterans. The team of 20 riders will pass through the Gettysburg area on July 2nd.