Although the "official" Police Unity Tour (PUT) arrival ceremony was canceled, it didn't stop the committed group of riders from having a rain-delayed gathering.
Riders and supporters gathered at the Memorial this evening at 7 pm to distribute medals and to announce that the PUT raised more than $1,227,000 this year for the National Law Enforcement Museum that will be built directly across from the Memorial.
Hundreds of riders gathered in a light drizzle to celebrate the PUT's success and to remember lost friends and loved ones, following one of the deadliest years for law enforcement in the past two decades. Riders celebrated these fallen heroes memory, their lives, and the difference they made. The evening also marks an exciting milestone in the personal achievements of the riders.
"It has been an arduous three, four days of riding for you. Through rain, cold, terrible weather … you were really tested this year. But you prevailed. Your story has traveled everywhere. Articles, news reports recorded your journey," NLEOMF Chief Operating Officer Herb Giobbi told the group of riders assembled.
Since 1997, the Police Unity Tour has raised more than $5 million for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, including the $1.2 million announced today. In 2005, the Police Unity Tour pledged $5 million toward building the first-ever National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC, making it the largest contributor to date to the $80 million capital campaign. The Police Unity Tour is the supporter of the Museum's Hall of Remembrance, where the stories of America's fallen law enforcement heroes will be told.