'Respect to our fallen:' Motorcyclists place flags at memorial park on Memorial Day weekend cruise

MILWAUKEE -- Memorial Day Weekend is a lot different this year due to COVID-19, but a few dozen motorcycle riders started their engines for those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Saturday, May 22.

John Bagley

The motorcyclists headed out Saturday for a Memorial Day cruise; first stop, Pinelawn Memorial Park in Milwaukee.

"We actually covered the grounds all of us here we did 250 sites this morning," John Bagley, who organized the ride, said.

The riders placed flags at each soldier's gravesite. Pinelawn typically relies on volunteers on Memorial Day weekend to place the flags, but COVID-19 prevented that this year.

Pinelawn Memorial Park

"A lot of the volunteers that would normally be here are not here today," said Clyde Rupnow of Pine Lawn Memorial Park.

Clyde Rupnow

In just a short amount of time, the memorial park was a sea of red, white and blue. Many people were there to help the cause -- including veterans.

"It's amazing just to meet these people and their stories and, of course, riding with them on here. It's an honor," Bagley said. "Those men and women who fight for us every day, just remember that."

Pinelawn Memorial Park

Mike Simmons

Many Memorial Day ceremonies were canceled this year due to the pandemic, but Saturday's cruise still found a way to pay respect to the fallen.

"This is to show respect to our fallen brothers and sisters," Mike Simmons of American Legion Riders.

The cruise also stopped by Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and other local cemeteries.