The mission of the Epic Ride for Dignity and Remembrance is to raise money for the continued development of the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery (CCCVC). In particular, it is to fund a robust Phase Two which will include in-ground burial for those veterans who desire it or whose faith or culture requires it.
After a quarter-century of planning, designing, lobbying, determination and hard work, the CCCVC opened in October 2016 on the property of the former Fort Ord, to the acclaim and relief of veterans and their families along the Central Coast. Many families who had been holding their loved ones’ cremated remains in other locations began the transfer and inurnment of their family members. As many as five or six veterans every day have been brought to their final resting place in the newly constructed columbaria there.
Now the time has come to provide this vital service to those veterans and their families who are required by their dearly held beliefs to lay their deceased loved ones to rest in an in-ground grave. No person who has served our country should be denied the dignity and honor of a military funeral nearby to loved ones, who desire to visit these final resting places on holidays and other special occasions. Our contract with our veterans dictates that we expand the CCCVC to include this in-ground burial service.
However, like so many important aspects of living up to our communal obligations to veterans, this takes financial resources to implement. Funds are scarce and the clock is running. Steps are being taken to find additional monies, and many concerned individuals and groups are stepping up to do their part.
One such group is the American Legion Riders – in particular, Chapter 31 from Post 31 in Salinas, Calif. Alternatively known as the “Black Sheep”, three of their members will embark on a 10,000-mile, month-long, cross-country motorcycle ride beginning Sept. 4 to raise awareness and money to help move to this important next step.
To that end, the Epic Ride for Dignity and Remembrance is asking the local community, supporters of veterans and their families, alumni of the former Fort Ord and all others who see the value and significance of this venture to donate to this noble cause and assist these riders in their quest.