BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Armed Forces Support Foundation and a few other organizations came together to honor the fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives during 9/11. Veterans and their families gathered for the Memorial Support Our Troops Ride and Veterans Resources event.
“This ride is about memorializing those who we lost and honoring those who served. That’s all this is about, it’s not about anything else. Just to remember, reflect and really never forget,” said Co-Founder of the Armed Forces Support Foundation and Manager of Bakersfield Harley Davidson Ben Patten.
Patten says the memorial support our troops ride has been going on for 17 years and that he believes the community here in Kern understands the significance of this day.
Jenny Frank is the president of the armed support foundation and tells 23ABC about the importance of honoring both military veterans and first responders
“It’s important to remember everyday that there are folks out there standing the line to protect us. We are all our brothers and sisters and it’s up to us to make sure we keep these days sacred and to make sure that we do remember these people for what they have done. the sacrifices of the military, the sacrifices of the first responders.”
U.S. Army veteran Peter Smith was also a motorcyclist who participated in the troop’s ride and expresses the courage and bravery he has seen in those who joined the U.S. military following 9/11.
“Look how many young patriots stood up to the plate, raised their right arm and sworn in just because of that event. That kind of shows the pride of what this nation was built on and what hopefully the future will still hold.”
The event also consisted of a variety of local organizations that provide assistance with veteran resources throughout kern.
“The purpose of this part of it, is to make sure these veterans know that this stuff is available to them, oftentimes they don’t. Providing information for what they can do for veterans. Bakersfield College, Cal State Bakersfield the educational benefits, the veterans service office to help you get those educational benefits,” said Patten.
The Armed Forces Support Foundation has a variety of veteran resources that are available here in Kern County.