Salute to veterans takes to the highway

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photoRick Halle of Orchards, an Air Force veteran, fires up his 1993 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic on Sunday at the Clark County Fairgrounds for the 13th Annual Veterans Convoy that traveled the 37 miles of Interstate 205, the Veterans Memorial Highway.

(/The Columbian)

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An estimated 150 vehicles and their drivers participated Sunday in the 13th annual Veterans Convoy on Interstate 205, named the Veterans Memorial Highway. The convoy started at the Clark County Fairgrounds and traveled the 37 miles to where I-205 meets Interstate 5 at Wilsonville. Rick Halle of Orchards, an Air Force veteran, was on his Harley for the event. Halle received an honorable service medal, which is a formal thank you for those who have served, said organizer John Neuman of Welches, Ore. Halle also serves in the Patriot Guard Riders and said of the veterans' events, "It's heartwarming to see people with their hands over their hearts as we go by with the flags." Co-founder Neuman, who did six tours of duty in Vietnam in the Air Force, said the ride, with the ceremony in Wilsonville, "brings back a flood of emotions, but it's positive rather than negative. For 99 percent, it's the first time they have been formally thanked for their service."

Interstate 205 was formally named the Veterans Memorial Highway in 2000. It also is a Blue Star Highway, another salute to veterans.