ABOUT THE WALL
The concept of the Traveling Memorial Wall for Fallen Bikers was created by John Palmer, owner of The Chrome Café bike shop, in Cicero, New York, in February 2011. He wanted a way to remember his loved ones and people that he and his friends used to ride with. The first name on the Wall is his father and the second is his brother. He wanted the Wall to be available to any group that wanted to display it at an event. In April of 2011 the first Wall Panel listing 127 names was completed and it was dedicated on May 22, 2011 at the Happy Valley Inn located in Parish, New York. The back of the first Panel reads “This wall is a traveling wall and available to any group to display. A record of the names on the wall is kept in a ledger book. As a “group” of people all over this country we have one of the highest death rates with exception to the military. There are thousands of riders across this country. It’s a group all in it’s own from every walk of life. It’s not what you ride it’s why you ride. The fact that you rode at all is why your name is allowed on this wall. This wall was constructed to honor the riders of this country the people that sought the freedom that we fight for everyday. The freedom to ride when and what you want.”
In 2012 John realized that he could not give the Wall the attention it needed so he went to the Oswego Chapter of ABATE and asked if they would be willing to be the custodian of the Wall. Of course they said yes and Vice-President Bruce LePorte agreed to keep the Wall in his garage. Knowing that the Wall needed to be seen by motorcyclists Bruce began taking the Wall to motorcycle events in Oswego and Onondaga Counties. The second Wall Panel listing 134 names was completed and it was dedicated on May 25, 2013 at JP's Bar & Grill, owned by John Palmer, in Hastings, New York. As the wall was seen by more people, more names were collected and the third Wall Panel listing 150 names was completed and it was dedicated on September 7, 2013 at JP's Bar & Grill, in Hastings, New York.
For three years, Bruce took apart and loaded the Traveling Memorial Wall panels in his car and drove them from one motorcycle event to another all riding season. On July 31, 2014 thanks to all the generous donations the Traveling Memorial Wall for Fallen Bikers was incorporated and given 501c3 not for profit charitable corporation status. The purpose of this corporation is to seek to save lives and decrease motorcycle accidents and fatalities on roads by educating the public and increasing driver awareness of motorcycles, promoting safe riding habits, and the proper use of safety gear, and to honor the memory of motorcycle riders who have fallen on the roads and byways of this country.
In the spring of 2015 thanks to all the generous donations the Traveling Memorial Wall for Fallen Bikers, Inc. purchased an enclosed trailer to transport the Wall Panels from event to event. On July 25, 2015, as part of the Bob Gleason Jr. Ole’ Bag Memorial Ride, the fourth Wall Panel listing 168 names was dedicated at the Cedar Pine in Redfield, New York. During the summer of 2015 the Wall appeared at two to three bike nights per week and on or two events each weekend.
Members of the Traveling Memorial Wall for Fallen Bikers spread the word of Motorcycle Awareness and Safety by distributing yard signs, decals, window clings, magnets, t-shirts, and pens for free. They also talk to dozens of drivers education classes, hundreds of students every year, about being focused when you drive. Three members have earned Safety Champion Awards from the Oswego County Governor's Traffic Safety Board.
In 2016 we are now looking to raise enough money to purchase a pick-up truck to pull the trailer from event to event.
The Traveling Memorial Wall for Fallen Bikers can be requested for your event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org