“The Wave” Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 4

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We’ve done it! We successfully completed our 4412 mile journey across the UK & the US, arriving outside Washington, DC (Crystal City) on July 3rd and finishing at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, England on July 7thIt has been the ride of a lifetime, in large part because of your encouragement & support. I personally would like to thank each of you for holding us in your thoughts & prayers during the journey & in helping us achieve our goal of raising the awareness of the sacrifices that US & UK service members, veterans, & their families have made since 9/11.I also invite you to take one more step with me, specifically to do one act that works best for you (whether it is a donation of your money, time, or services) to remember, recognize or rejoice for those who have sacrificed so much for all of us. And for those who have already done this, you have my heartfelt thanks.

I would like to thank the members of the Sea2Sea Team whose hard work & dedication was instrumental in achieving our aim. They are (in no particular order):

Alvon & Maureen Elrod, Bruce & Marj Hammersley, Judy Dabney, Cheryl Washburn, John Sprowl, Tricia Murdock, Rob & Lynn Dow, Tracey Dow, Terry Wells, Jo Rockwood, Maggie & Tom Donaldson, Chip Meeks and Bob Cox.

Finally, I’ll be taking a backward glance to thank those in the next edition of The Wave to recognize our corporate sponsors & ‘shepherds’ who supported & guided us from Sea2Sea and to talk about the future. Once again, thanks again to all of you, as you have been key in helping us to give back to those who served.

Sincerely,

Tom

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE JOURNEY FROM SEA2SEA

Where we have been, and what we have done (where we are going will be in the next newsletter)

The journey from Sea2Sea has been a teacher of many things, but three stand out and encompass what Sea2Sea intends to accomplish:

  1. Remember

  2. Recognize

  3. Rejoice

Our forthcoming efforts encircle these important lessons. At Sea2Sea, we will strive to remember those who have fallen, recognize the sacrifices of families and individuals who serve our country and rejoice in the freedoms that we enjoy.

It seems like a lifetime ago that we began our trek at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire England, but it was only on April 16th & we could not have had a better send off from the Base Commander and the ‘US First Sergeant’ driving a World War II jeep.

REMEMBER:

We began our mission to remember the fallen for each day of the journey.

We held a total of 66 remembrance ceremonies to reflect the loss of over 7000 US & UK service members.  This was the hardest part of the ride, made easier by all those who participated (estimated to be over 2000 total).


For me, enormity of the loss hit when we laid out the cards in the amphitheater behind the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier on the morning of 4th July.  We could only glimpse the depth of feeling that family members & friends must experience on a daily basis.

RECOGNIZE:

We also recognized both on our website and at each ceremony a US & UK Military Charity and nominated those two to be our ‘charities of the day’.  Here is the enthusiastic reception given by the CEO of the Veterans Charity, Danny Greeno on the first day of the ride at Brize Norton.

REJOICE:

Finally, the 3rd ‘R’ is, of course, Rejoice! This was the easiest part to do every day, as we met diverse people in both the US & UK united by a deep set of core values of love, support, & appreciation of those who wear or wore the military uniform or supported them.  Here is some representatives of the Combat Bikers Veterans Association who welcomed us in Fayetteville, NC on Jun 18th.

And here is what the celebration party looked at Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal City, on July 3rd.

So, the leading question is, ‘What next?’  I will be working on a final ‘R’ before we gear up for the next challenge and that ‘R’ is Recover!

All the best,

Tom

“The Wave” Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3

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Volume 1 Issue 3
The end of the US leg of the 2012 Sea2Sea Challenge is fast approaching and the riders are within striking distance of completing the journey from the west coast to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Sitting on the seat of a bicycle that has carried me more than 4200 miles, across a continent and so much further than imagined has given me a perspective I had not anticipated. This passage has helped me reach beyond myself and out to the hearts of Americans and British alike.

Ending such an odyssey is a bittersweet experience – amazing for the enthusiasm and support we have received from so many along the way; terrible for such a meaningful undertaking to come to a conclusion at all; bittersweet describes it completely.


The Remembrance Ceremonies have ranged in attendance from merely three of us on occasion to well over 200 on others. Throughout the journey, one prominent fact shone through all the weather, all of the miles, the mountains, the valleys, the long straight-aways and the curvy roads too: Americans love their country and the veterans who have defended it!

To paraphrase Alexis de Tocqueville from his book Democracy in America, Liberty cannot be established without morality, or morality without faith. We have found people, or rather people have found us, whose faith remains the bedrock of their lives and who consistently choose hope over despair as a compass for the future.

The individuals we encountered across the United States are the heroes of today. We have met Cub Scout Mothers who are helping the orphans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to establish normalcy in their lives. We have also met police officers putting on a charity event for a mother whose son was seriously wounded in Afghanistan. There are many words to describe the actions of these caring people, none of which fully capture the devotion each shows for one another or the feeling that comes from being witness to their innumerable acts of caring and kindness.



These people serve each other with love and charity, pursuing nothing for themselves. Instead they seek only to relieve the burdens of others. Early on in our journey, we met a young woman, age 19, who was an Afghan war widow, named Hope. She and her husband, Riley had been married for only five months when she received the news of his death. This brave woman embodied all of the qualities we found so prevalent among those who supported us throughout our travels; the preacher who served during the Vietnam era who prayed for us every night was another who made such a difference to our experience. Each of these individuals and all of them too brought home one great shining idea: being an American cuts across all ages and ethnicities, all differences a mind can think of; being an American is a transcendent experience and being reminded of this great shining idea was what we found so profoundly rewarding as it came home to us again and again many times along the way.
Now it is time to go back to where we started on April 16 to complete the circle and pay homage to the best allies that we, as Americans, have: the British people, for they too have suffered travesties through these wars.

My pledge to the people that support our cause is to continue to look for new ways to “Give Back To Those Who Serve” until we transform the awareness that we have raised during our Sea2Sea 2012 Cycling Challenge to actions that will make a difference to those who have secured those precious freedoms that we enjoyed at such a very high price.

Bikers travel across country to honor fallen at Beirut Memorial

Link to Original Article on Camp Lejune Globe.com
Post By: 2nd Lt. Sarah Burns Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Cycling 3,870 miles across the United States and having another 1,000 more miles to go sounds hard, but to riders of the Sea2Sea Challenge it is nothing compared to the sacrifice service members and their families make every day.

Tom von Kaenel, Alvon Elrod, Chip Minks and other members of the Down East Cycling group from Jacksonville, N.C., biked to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune April 22 to deliver the daily remembrance ceremony at the Beirut Memorial.

“In this daily remembrance ceremony we call out the names of 100 U.S. and 10 British service members who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11,” said von Kaenel. “The ceremony is the hardest part of the trip. No amount of biking will ever be as hard as the sacrifices our service members and families make every day.”

The ceremonies occurred in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and now North Carolina.

There was also a special remembrance ceremony at Mount Rushmore honoring all the Native Americans who were killed at Wounded Knee, S.D.

In addition to the ceremonies, the group met with Gold Star Mothers and widows of service members from Iraq and Afghanistan to specifically remember those they lost.

Sea2Sea Foundation was created to raise awareness about the sacrifices U.S. and U.K. service members faced since 9/11. It was launched November 11, 2011, after von Kaenel, a retired American service member and founder of Sea2Sea, recovered from a serious biking accident that demanded immediate medical attention provided by a medical evacuation flight to a military hospital.

“The number of procedures there helped save my life, so I said if I am going to be able to walk again, if I was going to be able to live again, I am going to do this,” von Kaenel said.

Von Kaenel biked to Heathrow International Airport April 16, thus beginning the Sea2Sea challenge.

The American portion of the bike ride began as von Kaenel, Elrod, and Bruce Hammersley, a professional photographer, blogger and the safety vehicle driver, departed Ocean Shores, Wash., April 23. Chip Minks, their childhood friend, flew in from Germany to complete the last 1,000 miles of the ride through Quantico, Va., and into Washington D.C.

The ride is scheduled to conclude July 3 in Arlington, Va., where there will be a final remembrance ceremony followed by an all-night vigil at the chapel at Fort Myer, Va.

At the all-night vigil, they will place an index card with a name for each U.S. service member who was killed in action since 911. These 7,000 cards will serve as a visual reminder of how many 7,000 lives entail.

“The morning of July 4, we will gather up the 7,000 index cards and take them to the Marine Corps Memorial,” von Kaenel said. “There we will give them to cyclists who will carry them to the Lincoln Memorial, where a two-minute ceremony will complete the U.S. portion of this mission.”

“It’s the experience of a lifetime,” Elrod said. “This country is just blessed to have such great people.”

The group rides approximately 60 to 80 miles each day for 11 weeks and uses Sundays for recovery. Support is encouraged at every level whether it be by riding with them or through donations. Their goal is to raise $10 million for U.S. and U.K. service member, and veteran charities.

If you are interested in riding with Sea2Sea, donating or for more information, please visit Sea2Sea.org.

“The Wave” Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 2

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Volume 1 Issue 2

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE JOURNEY FROM SEA2SEA

Where we have been, where we are and where we are going.

We have been through four states: Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. Here are some of the things we have experienced since our last Newsletter.

Meanwhile as of June 20, the 2012 Sea2Sea Challenge team has ridden through Georgia, South Carolina, and parts of North Carolina en route to Fort Bragg and Camp LeJeune.  More on those next letter.
Patriotism Being Expressed FreelyWe meet ministers who pray for usFlags lining a cemetery on Memorial Day

We witnessed many styles of patriotism as we met so many and traveled dozens back roads of our great country.

On the streets of Nashville during the Country Music Awards, prayers from preachers or lining the path in a cemetery on Memorial Day, love of country is not difficult to find. One of many things we have to be thankful for in America is that patriotism can be freely expressed and as one sees fit.  We ride on two continents in support of those fighting to preserve such freedoms.

One of the daily highlights of the 2012 Sea2Sea Challenge is remembering those who gave their lives in our defense.  It is a defining experience. It is a central part of what our 2012 Sea2Sea Challenge is about.

Some days we have 60+ people attend the Remembrance Ceremony.  On other days, it is just the three of us reading names aloud. We do not miss a day. We do not forget them. Each day, we dedicate our ride to those individuals whose names we read and to their families who the loss of loved ones; loved ones who will never be coming home.

Traveling the Purple Heart Trail going from north to south in Tennessee brought to mind another sign we had passed crossing through Idaho in April. That was early in our journey, nearly at its beginning and nearly 2,500 miles ago! The sign in Idaho memorialized one of their own. A son or brother, a father or husband, he was. These signs presented us reminders along the way that freedom is not free.
Purple Heart TrailIdaho Remembering one of their own who did not return
 The 2012 Sea2sea Challenge began with the ambitious goal of cycling across the US and UK, more than 4,200 miles from April 16 to July 8, 2012.  Its objective is to raise awareness and funds for the needs of our veterans and their families. The goal is to memorialize those who have given their lives in our defense and to raise funds for those with battlefield wounds both physical and mental. (See previous newsletter for the origins of the Sea2Sea Foundation and how Tom von Kaenel came to found and develop this unique organization devoted to American and British military charities.)

By the end of our 77-day journey, a 4200 mile bicycle ride across America and Great Britain, we will have read the names of every soldier killed in action since 9/11.  Those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan are memorialized in our Daily Remembrance Ceremonies and will be remembered again as a combined reading at the end of our ride.

Alvon Elrod has been the lead cyclist for the 2012 Sea2Sea Challenge, provides support, motivation, energy and quite often, comedic relief. Visiting the Sea2Sea Facebook Page or reading Bruce’s Blog, you see quite a few pictures of him standing on his head.  It is a tradition begun long ago and has become a personal brand of Alvon’s throughout the journey across America.
Below is an outline of our scheduled arrival dates and links to Google maps for the rest of the journey. In a short time, we have covered nearly 3700 miles on bicycle and close in on the 4,200 total with each passing day.

Arrival Date Departure Date Map/Proposed Route
Wednesday, June 20 Thursday, June 21 Fayetteville/Fort Bragg, NC
Friday, June 22 Saturday, June 23 Jacksonville/Camp Lejune, NC
Monday, June 25 Tuesday, June 26 Manteo, NC
Wednesday, June 27 Thursday, June 28 Chesapeake, VA
Thursday, June 28 Friday, June 29 Jamestown, VA
Monday, July 2 Tuesday, July 3 Quantico, VA
Tuesday, July 3 Crystal City/Arlington
Wednesday July 4 Washington DC

To learn more about the 2012 Sea2Sea Challenge, visit Sea2Sea.org. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Cycling teams or individual cyclists are invited to join us through any part of our journey from Sea2Sea. If you would like to participate, please contact us via facebook.com/sea2sea1 or by using the contact form on sea2sea.org.  Additional information is available in the next newsletter update.  You can look for it in approximately 10 days.

Clemson University Scroll of Honor

Original Article Posted on CityofClemson.com

Clemson University Scroll of Honor – Ceremony begins at 6:00 pm BBQ at Nettles Park after Honor Ceremony
Sea 2 Sea Foundation

Jun 15 2012 – 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Clemson University Scroll of Honor – Ceremony begins at 6:00 pm
BBQ at Nettles Park after Honor Ceremony

The purpose of The Sea2Sea Foundation is to “help those who served”. Specifically, providing assistance to service members, veterans and their families with the goal of transitioning them successfully back into civilian life and society.

After a day of bike riding Thomas von Kaenel and Alvon Elrod will be in Clemson on Friday, June 15th for a remembrance ceremony and a Welter BBQ celebration. The ceremony will be at 6:00pm at the Scroll of Honor on Clemson Campus. The BBQ will be at Nettles Park (near Pendleton) after the ceremony.

Sea2Sea Mission is ‘Giving Back to Those Who Served’

 

Link to original article on SabethaHerald.com

Preparing to depart Sycamore Springs Resort northeast of Sabetha Tuesday morning, May 29, to continue their mission are bicyclists (L-R) Tom von Kaenel and Alvon Elrod.

Photo courtesy of Bruce Hammersley

A unique small group with a huge mission arrived at the Sabetha Cemetery Monday morning, May 28, just in time to catch the end of the annual Memorial Day service hosted by our local veterans’ organizations.

The group included two bicyclists, Tom von Kaenel and Alvon Elrod, and Bruce Hammersly, a professional photographer who was driving an RV.

They had left Marysville early that morning and were planning to spend the rest of Monday at Sycamore Springs Resort northeast of Sabetha – which is how they happened to be traveling through Sabetha.

At the cemetery, they met and were engaged in conversation with Lafe Bailey, who ended up taking them to Harriet’s House, where his parents, Larry and Linda Bailey, were hosting a family gathering. There they enjoyed lunch and held their daily brief Remembrance of the Fallen Ceremony.

“In this daily ceremony, we call out the names of 100 U.S. and 10 British service members who were killed in action since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on U.S. territory,” von Kaenel said. “We remember, recognize and rejoice for those who died. This part of our mission is non-negotiable!”

On Tuesday the group was headed for Leavenworth National Cemetery, where they would hold the Remembrance of the Fallen Ceremony.

“Our ride will culminate at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on July 3,” von Kaenel said. “There we will have the final remembrance ceremony, followed by an all-night vigil at the chapel at Fort Myer, Va.”

At the all-night vigil, they will place an index card with a name for each U.S. service member who was killed in action since 9-11. These 7,000 cards will serve as a visual reminder of how many 7,000 lives entails.

“The morning of July 4, we will gather up the 7,000 index cards and take them to the Marine Corps Memorial,” von Kaenel said. “There we will give them to cyclists who will carry them to the Lincoln Memorial, where a two-minute ceremony will complete the U.S. portion of this mission.”

The trio will then head back to England (the U.K.) for the remainder of Sea2Sea’s mission.

“On July 7 we will land at Heathrow International Airport and will lay a wreathe at the CENOTAPH National War Memorial in London on behalf of the American people,” von Kaenel said. “The night of the 7th, we will hold a ceremony with the British names.”

On the morning of July 8, the group will cycle back to RAF Brize Norton.

“That will be the end of the mission,” von Kaenel said.

The group’s experience in the United States, and especially Sabetha, is a memorable one, von Kaenel said.

“We’re just absolutely astounded by the generosity, hospitality and kindness of the American people,” he said. “Being invited to the Baileys’ home for lunch and the ceremony is a great example of our experience in this country.”

“We also were very impressed with the ceremony and the turnout at the Sabetha Cemetery,” he added.

Giving Back To Those Who Served

On Nov. 11, 2011, Tom von Kaenel, a retired American serviceman living in Oxfordshire, England, launched an ambitious international fundraiser to benefit U.K. and U.S. servicemen.

The challenge has begun. Starting at the Britannia Gate at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire and incorporating a cycle ride of over 4,200 miles, including 4,077 miles across the Continental United States from the west to the east coast, it will end at Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2012, before finishing in the U.K. on July 8, 2012.

The Mission

The Sea2Sea Foundation aims to raise $10,000,000 for the various U.S. service member and veteran charity organizations (i.e. Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Legion, Wounded Warriors, Heroes for Hire and No Greater Sacrifice to name a few) and £5,000,000 to benefit the various U.K. service member and veteran charity organizations (i.e., Army Benevolent Fund, British Legion and Help for Heroes).

Funds raised through sponsorship will be paid direct to the charities through their own web sites.

“The mission of Sea2Sea is simple: to give back to U.K. and to US service men and women who have served since 9/11,” von Kaenel said. “We do this by providing a website that provides a comprehensive list of registered U.K. and U.S. charities that are related to benefiting the Armed Forces of these two countries.

“[We] welcome help from anyone who wishes to give their support and expertise. We are completely apolitical and are not in competition with any other U.S. or U.K. charity. In fact, our website will host the names, addresses and purpose of any registered U.K. or U.S. charity and we welcome the opportunity to highlight the selfless work that they do so that people can contribute to their specific needs. On the site, you can choose your preferred charity to benefit from your contributions.”

You can sponsor von Kaenel and his team at The Sea2Sea Foundation through his website at www.sea2sea.org, which acts as a portal for the fundraising.

The Challenge

The total miles on the U.S. leg of the Sea2Sea Challenge is 4,077. The total miles for both the U.K. and the U.S. legs are 4,248 miles.

The Journey will take 77 days and will take the riders through at least one or more major military installations (Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines).

On the website at www.sea2sea.org, you will find full details of the charities supported and the sponsors supporting the Challenge.

The day-by-day schedule of locations, times and travel routes for cyclists joining the Sea2Sea Challenge is likewise posted to The Sea2Sea Foundation website at the “Join Our Journey” tab.

Contributions can be posted in either U.S. Dollars or British Pounds Sterling. Visit www.sea2sea.org for all of the latest updates to the Blog and to each of the Social Media sites as well.

About Tom von Kaenel

Tom von Kaenel is a retired U.S. soldier who has lived in Freeland, a village in Oxfordshire, since 1998. (He is married to an English woman). He has been closely affiliated with the British Armed Forces for most of his adult life.

Von Kaenel founded Sea2Sea as a U.K./U.S. charity whose purpose is “Giving back to those who served.” The 2012 Sea2Sea cycle ride is the charity’s first challenge.

“Every day deepens my resolve to do this and make this event memorable, life-changing, positive and fun,” he said. “The purpose of this ride is to raise national and international awareness of the price paid by the service men and women who have born the cost of the conflicts since 9/11. My aim is to raise £5,000,000 for U.K. veteran-related charities and the equivalent of $10,000,000 for U.S. veteran related charities.

“This cycle ride is open to all (you can cycle 1 mile, less or the whole distance) and will demonstrate our support and appreciation for those who safeguard our freedom (as well as their families).”

On Sept. 16, 2009, von Kanel suffered a life-threatening cycling accident in the Pyrenees, which came close to ending his life and destroying his health.  He was sent to the U.S. Landstuhl Regional Military Hospital in Germany and admitted into the same ward as injured duty soldiers.

“The 2-1/2 weeks that I spent there changed my life,” von Kaenel said. “I witnessed, for the first time in my life, the depth of sacrifice, devotion, and selflessness exhibited by the staff and the patients, all focused on trying to preserve the lifeblood of those men and women who were injured defending our countries and our way of life, and tragically, those who paid the ultimate price.”

He was in intensive care and isolation for a number of weeks and suffered several complications, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) more than once.

Having returned to the U.K. and having learnt to walk again, he suffered a second bout of MRSA, which put him back into isolation and meant he had to start all over again.

Von Kaenel is back on the road to recovery and this past summer cycled over the highest pass in the Swiss Alps.

“However, this is not the case for thousands of those who gave their lives for us, the hundreds of thousands whose lives are forever changed, as well as their families and friends,” he said. “In short, they need our help, and more importantly, we owe them a debt that we can help to repay for the sacrifices that they have made.”

Story by Patty Locher, staff writer for The Sabetha Herald

Sea2Sea Foundation riders to ride through North Georgia

Link to original article on MyForsyth.com
This entry was posted by Monday, 4 June, 2012

This month, the riders from the Sea2 Sea Foundation will be riding through Dahlonega, Georgia as part of a 4,200 international bicycle ride to raise awareness and funds for the returning veterans of the Afghan and Iraqi war zones.  The cyclists are scheduled to arrive in Dahlonega on the 13th, departing in the morning on the 14th.

Bike ride for veterans arrives Tuesday

Original Content Posted on LeavenworthTimes.com
By Tim Linn
GateHouse News Service
Posted May 26, 2012 @ 07:39 AM

 Leavenworth, Kan. —

Set to arrive just after Memorial Day, Tom von Kaenel, a former American service member who now lives in the United Kingdom, said there’s no place he’d rather be Tuesday than Leavenworth.

Von Kaenel will hit roughly the midpoint of a 4,077-mile bicycle ride from the west to the east coast that day, but that’s not the reason he’s excited to come to the city. He said that date, that time, will be a perfect opportunity to illustrate just why he’s riding in the first place.

“In the week after Memorial Day, we thought it would be fitting to be at one of the most historical military posts in our country,” he said Friday.

Von Kaenel is biking across the country with memory in mind — he’s leading the Sea2Sea bicycle ride in honor of and in support for active-duty and veteran U.S. military members and their families and loved ones. Another leg is scheduled to begin in the U.K. for that country’s service members after the conclusion of the U.S. trip in July.

It’s something of a quest for von Kaenel, one that has at least three separate aims — he said he primarily wants to remember those service members who have fallen since 9/11. Secondly, von Kaenel said he wants to raise awareness and support all registered U.S. and U.K. veterans charity groups. The third aim?

“To rejoice,” von Kaenel said. “To celebrate the freedoms that we enjoy in this country.”

He said he’s hoping to have as many people come to the short ceremony scheduled for about 6 p.m. Tuesday at First Command Financial Planning, 1100 N. Fourth St., as possible. Like the other stops he’s made along his journey, he’ll host a “remembrance of the fallen ceremony” at that location, reading the names of 100 American and 10 British troops who have died since 9/11. Von Kaenel said cards will bear the name, rank and other information about that person and the names read at each stop come from that state or region.

“It really connects people on a very deep and emotional basis,” he said.

Fittingly, it was a similarly emotional experience that spurred von Kaenel’s desire to put the ride together in the first place. In 2009, he said he was in a bicycle accident in the Pyrenees which left him with multiple injuries, the most serious of which was a broken hip and a shattered pelvis. Confronting the possibility that he might never walk again and could even lose his life, von Kaenel said he asked to arrange for a transfer to the U.S.’s Landstuhl Regional Military Hospital in Germany. It was there, for two and a half weeks in a ward among active-duty servicemembers recently injured in combat zones, that he came to a realization.

Sea2Sea remembers the fallen

Original Content Posted on – KEVN Black Hills FOX, SD BlackHillsFox.com

The names of our fallen soldiers are not being forgotten.  For the past several weeks, Tom Von Kaenel  has been riding his bike in remembrance of American and British veterans as part of the Sea-2-Sea charity program.

Starting his journey in England, Von Kaenel flew to the state of Washington and is biking across the country to Washington, D.C.   Along his route, he meets locals and makes stops to perform Remembrance Ceremonies, reading aloud the names of more than 7-thousand fallen soldiers.  Thursday’s ceremony took place at Mount Rushmore.  Von Kaenel says, “Although this is an informal and very joyful celebration as we go across our journey, there’s one non-negotiable. The non-negotiable is that before we ride, we will remember people and we will call out every name and we will not stop until we finish calling these names out. They’ll all be called out by the 4th of July.”   Von Kaenel says the final names will be read on July 4th at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.As part of his journey, Von Kaenel and the Sea-2-Sea organization are looking to raise $10 million dollars or 5 million pounds for various veterans’ charities in the U.S. and the U.K.

Zach Nugent