Flora’s Library Park was abustle this weekend when the Sea to Shining Sea ride stopped there this Sunday for lunch between Olney and Salem.
The ride which is sponsored nationally by State Farm Insurance, runs from San Francisco to Virginia Beach and from May 28 through July 28. The riders are Disabled Veterans of the American Armed Forces.
In Flora, the riders were assisted by State Farm Insurance of Flora with Angie Borrelli and Misty Lindeman. The meal that was served to the riders was provided by the Flora VFW Auxiliary, headed by president Carolyn Holloway.
Borrelli said that there were about 14 riders coming into Flora with an entourage of around 40 people.
“The VFW served the riders a very nice meal,” said Borrelli.
These riders have made this trip despite their disabilities; some of them are missing limbs, others are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Two of them were actually on tandems,” said Borrelli, “Because they are blind, so they have a co-rider that rides with them.”
Along with the hospitality tent set up by the State Farm and the meal from the VFW Auxiliary, representatives of the City of Flora were present to welcome the riders and they also got a unique treat from Dr. Katie Burmeister of Back to Action Chiropractic.
“I just had volunteered to adjust the disabled veterans as they came through,” said Burmeister, “And they said that I was the first chiropractor in 40 days from San Francisco to here that had volunteered.”
“They said ‘ah, that was great, we’re going to set up more of those!’” Burmeister said.
“It was very emotional yesterday to watch them come in and to see them and share time with them,” Borrelli said. “Because they are not victims, they’re heroes, and their spirits are just absolutely amazing and contagious. I truly enjoyed sharing the time with them.”