One Veteran Group Offended By Motorcycle Leading Parade


This photo from a 2008 Veterans Day Parade in California shows motorcycles leading.

Post and Courier reported that a group of Veterans dropped out of the Charleston SC Veterans Day Parade on Sunday because the procession was led by motorcycles instead of the military honor guard.

In the report,  a former Army sergeant  said he doesn't think the motorcycles are "dignified" enough.

"I don't think that's the image we want," said Stephen Riggs of West Ashley, a former Army sergeant who had planned to drive a 1942 Ford Army Jeep pulling a 37 mm antitank gun.

"Military uniforms should lead the Veterans Day parade," he said Monday. "What is it we're trying to show? Would I want my grandkids at that parade to see guys in leather and ponytails with flags waving off the back? It is a dignity issue."

According to the report, motorcycles have led the parade for the past 3 years and organizers say the group provides a meal at the end so it's natural they be given a head start.

According to parade organizers, the procession met the required protocol which dictates that an American flag lead the parade.

The flag was carried by Jim Shumard of Summerville, a retired Air Force colonel with the Charleston chapter of the Star Riders, who rode out front on his Yamaha Road Star.

Web Staff


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  5. Been Harley’s and Harley riding soldiers in every war since WW1, so I don’t see a problem at all! Wasn’t the Harley riding, leather wearing, pony tailed, motorcycle riding Vets the ones that started the Patriot Guard to keep protester’s from interfering with fallen Vets funerals. So if they wanted to pickup thier marbles in a huff and go home I’d say that was the disrespectful thing that happened IMHO!

    Former Army Combat Engineer and Harley ridin Vet!

  6. So where exactly is the lack of dignity?? Some people in this world STILL will only “judge a book by it’s cover.” Sounds like Sgt. Riggs is stuck in the past somewhere.

  7. Sergeant Riggs. I am a vietnam vet, and I ride for the American Legion Riders. We mdo many escorts, Funerals, and many other funtions. We are all Vets. We are proud to represent communities on our M/C,s. Its not the vehicle, its whats in our HEARTS.

  8. Though not a Veteran myself , my Father WWII and Korea was a proud Veteran and Shook the hand of anyone who thanked him for his service no matter what thr person looked Like. God Bless all of our Veterans Past and Present, Thank you G.F. Moroney

  9. I can see Sgt Riggs point. It was a Veterans Day parade I believe, not an honor parade for one Soldier. In this case and based on Sgt Riggs opinion, it would be acceptable to prefer to see a vet or currently enlisted Soldier in "uniform".

  10. Who do you think you are telling a vet on a m/c that he can not lead the parade????He had you back in war, fought and some died for this country and now you have the balls to tell them its not right for them to be out in front of the others. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!! If your a vet your a vet no matter what!!! So pull up you big boy shorts and get over it!!!

  11. I can understand how some vets might feel on this issue, like former Sergeant Riggs, … I disagree with him but I understand how he feels and I understand the dignity issue as well … especially if the soldier being honored WASN’T a biker … however, if he WAS a biker, then the motorcycle procession would be a very natural, honorable, and dignified thing to do.

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