Torches Across America (TAA) is a motorcycle ride for all riders who want to show their respect to everyone who lost their lives and to the family's who lost their loved ones on that sad morning of September 11, 2001. TAA takes nine days, starting on the West Coast (Sept 3rd). Ride the whole trip, just through your state or a few miles when it comes in your area. If you can not take time to ride on the ride, everyone is welcome to be with us at any of the stops we make going across the country.

My Photo
Location: Kimberling City, Missouri

Monday, March 24, 2008

2008 March TAA Ride Updates

Hi Everyone,

First I would like to tell you that Rick Parson, Torches Across America New Mexico State Coordinator was taken to the Presbyterian Hospital by ambulance on February 7th this year. Rick had pulmonary embolism with massive blood clots in both lungs two years ago and now it has happened all over again. He is home now and just starting to get around again.

I have talked to him about helping with TAA again this year and he has already started on it. Rick’s a great person so maybe you can sent him a get well e-mail. His e-mail address is; .

Roger Alons, TAA Illinois State Coordinator was in the hospital in the past couple of months having a colon operation. So far no cancer. Roger is a great person so maybe you can send him a get well e-mail also. His e-mail address is; .

I talked to Les Knauer after he came out off the hospital from his stroke. Nancy gave him the phone and said Gary wants to talk to you. Les did not say anything so I said to him, I here you went to the hospital just to see all the pretty nurses. Les did not say anything still so I said it again, still he did not say anything. Then about a minute or two later he says to me, you know Nancy and I have been married for thirty one years this year, pause, I was in the hospital for 31 days, pause, I had my pants pulled down more times in those thirty one days by a woman, then I have during the 31 years of our marriage.

So all I can say about that is, your get well e-mails sure helped him get better. He still has a long way to go but if I know Les, he will make it with Nancy’s help.

I just want everyone to know, all I am doing this year is helping the hosts put the 2008 Torches Across America ride together. I am not, putting it together.
When Roger and TAA Troy, IL said the ride would at least continue from Troy, IL in 2008, I told them I would get in touch with the other hosts and see if they would like to help also. I am very glad to say they are all on board again this year.

So here how it looks so far;

Oceanside, CA

Bill Kennedy is working on a starting place in San Diego for the start of the 2008 ride. It sounds great and I hope it all works out.

Laughlin, NV

Instead of the ride spending the first night out in Kingman, AZ, the ride will spend the night in Laughlin, NV.

Last year Jennifer Wilson, Special Veteran Program Manager with the AVI Resort and Casino and Heather Ching Co-Founder Bullhead Patriots, member of the Patriot Guard Riders and Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America wanted to be a part of the ride and help the riders. They did a super job of it to. This year they would like to be a part of TAA and have the riders come to Laughlin.

New Mexico

When I talked to Rick to see how he was doing the other day I asked what he thought about helping again this years and he said I will help as long as I am able. So the second day of the ride will go from Laughlin to Albuquerque, NM.

Victor Lioce is also a New Mexico TAA State Coordinator and he is setting up a scenic route again for this years ride as it leaves Albuquerque.

I also talked to Rosanne Bianco who is with the Blue Star Mothers in Albuquerque. Rosanne has helped TAA for three years and she said she has on her 2008 calender a note that says to get a hold of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for the 2008 Proclamation making 9/11 a Recognition Day for all New Mexico’’s First Call Responders on 9/11/ 2008.

Tulsa, OK

Last year Joe Sewell talked to Barbara Porter, Treasure/Public Relations, Oklahoma Chapter 1, Blue Mothers of America and she contacted me and said they would like to help the riders. They did a super job of it to. This year they would like to be a part of TAA again.


The Torches America Troy, IL members, Roger Alons, Fat Fred Dahlgren, Butch Clemings,
Mike Raymond, David Bloom, A.J. Kaufman, Giles Culver, Pappy Hessenauer, Cynthia Dashen,Gertia Kaufman, Linda Culver, Milt Edrington and Rodney Dunaway are all going to be working hard this year to make this ride possible.

As far as I am concerned all of TAA’s state coordinators, hosts and riders are super great people and I am very proud that you would like to see the ride continue.

The TAA ride will not have a main speaker this year because each and everyone of these hosts share the same kinds of feelings I do for the reason of this ride.

I have asked all of you to help in getting all last years shirts, pins and patches sold. It is a big expense to do these and when you do not sell them it works against the money you made from them. So instead of the money from the sales of these items going towards the new 9/11 memorial being built in Troy, IL it just goes to paying off what it cost to buy the shirts, pins and patches.

What I have been doing lately is asking people to buy a shirt and maybe a pin and patch a long with it and have TAA Troy, IL sent them to Barbara Porter. She and the other members of Oklahoma Chapter 1 Blue Star Mothers will sent them to our Armed Forces members over seas in their care packages.

Torches Across America Troy, Illions is a none profit organization so your orders are tax deductible. The address to send your orders to is:

Torches Across America
Milt Edrington
2509 Reveres Rt.
Granite City, IL 62040

Milt Edrington’’s e-mail address is; and his phone number is; 618-540-0033.

The shirts are $15.00 and the pins and patches are $5.00 ea. There is no cost for shipping to Barbara or to you if you want them shipped to you inside the United States.

Remember one of the reasons we ride is to show support for these men and women in our Armed Forces. They are willing to give us the ultimate sacrifice any human can give to another human and that is their, life, if need be for our freedom.

Know matter what your thoughts are about the war, it should not keep you from saying thank you to all these supper men and woman and their families, who worry about them constantly while they are gone.

I have asked some of the TAA riders that belong to a nation wide organization to contact their national reps and ask if their organization would escort the TAA memorial walls this year because I will not be able to do it. I have offered to pay for the shipping of the memorial walls to California if they will do it.

Here is something that is funny in a way to me. Every year when I hear that the Vietnam Memorial Wall is coming by my area, motorcycle riders for miles around are asked if they would help escort it.

Well on the TAA ride we travel with two memorial walls. One has all the names of the victims of 9/11 on it. The second one has all the names of our, " Fallen Warriors Lost But Not Forgotten", on it that have died in the war with Afghanistan and Iraq. Both the war in Afghanistan and Iraq as you all know are the result of the 9/11 attach on America. And we also know they are still on going.

More riders will escort the Vietnam Memorial Wall than a memorial wall of a war that is being fought right now. I have heard two different reasons for this. The first one is, this war has lasted to long and we just want to stop hearing about it. The second reason is, 9/11 is over with so get on with your life.

So hears the funny part to me, if 9/11 is old news and they say we should get over it and get on with our lives, how old does that make the Vietnam War.

I ride for the Vietnam Memorial Wall because of respect. I also ride for the memorial walls of the victims of 9/11 and our "Fallen Warriors Lost But Not Forgotten" because of respect. Thank you Fat Fred for teaching me about the word respect.

Yes riding for these men women and children on all these memorial walls are about respect. I hate to say it but most Americans do not have that in them anymore it is mostly about ones self now.

The TAA ride is not about the destruction that happened on 9/11, it is about remembering the victims that died on 9/11, saying thank you to all of America’s First Call Responders for showing us how dedicated they are to protecting us, and showing support to all our Armed Forces members who willing to give us the ultimate sacrifice any human can give to another human and that is their, life, if need be for our freedom.

When we do this for them we are also letting their families know we care about them also. Here are some e-mails I have received in the past from family members of 9/11 victims;

Angie Rapoport; I think it is wonderful what you all do every year. I lost my father, Gerard Coppola, on 9/11. And, although, I don't have a bike, I do GREATLY appreciate your efforts. I remember driving into the city last year and seeing you coming in. It was amazing. I can't quite describe the feeling. But, I can say it did make me cry. And, I mean that in the best of ways. It was almost as if all of you were a part of my family and were grieving along with me. Thank you. Thank you all so much.
Angie was talking about the 2006 ride.

George A. Hentrique; To ride with and for my daughter Michelle who was killed in the South Tower. Could you please advise me where I could hook up with the ride on 9/10 going to ground zero.
George met us all at the Hoboken M/C Club House on the 2007 ride.

Judith A Kapp; Remembrance for my brother in law lost in Tower II, and show respect for all those in service and veterans.

We have also have had some military family members present at our hosts sites that have lost their son or daughter in the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. They are very sad but super happy knowing people are taking the time to remember their son or daughter and by name even.

We also have TAA riders whos sons our daughters have been or are stationed at this time in Afghanistan and Iraq. I thank all of you for being apart of TAA and may your sons and daughters return home safely.

Peter Frauenkron sent me this e-mail so maybe you might want to think about doing this. Thank you Peter.

'In Case of Emergency'
We all carry our mobile phones with names & numbers stored in its memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends.

If we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call. Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency?
Hence this 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) Campaign

The concept of 'ICE' is catching on quickly. It is a method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are carried by the majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted during emergency under the name 'ICE' ( In Case Of Emergency).

The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were always mobile phones with patients, but they didn't know which number to call.He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name for this purpose. In an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel and hospital Staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialing the number you have stored as 'ICE.'

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. A great idea that will make a difference!

Let's spread the concept of ICE by storing an ICE number in our Mobile phones today!

Have a great day
Gary Covert