Monday, August 29, 2011

SGT Matthew Harmon

Sgt. Matthew Harmon escort Friday, August 26, 2011:
John Reuter RC’d the escort from Bemidji to Fosston. The plane landed at 10:00 a.m. at the Bemidji airport.  Eight bikes escorted Sgt. Matthew Harmon the thirty miles to the Fosston funeral home. Every town they traveled through had people waving flags in honor of Sgt. Harmon.  The escort arrived in Fosston at noon.  Thanks to the MN Highway Patrol for the LE escort.

Sgt. Matthew Harmon visitation and service Saturday, August 27, 2011:
The morning started out a little chilly but warmed plenty by the start of the visitation for the approximate 127 members and 100 bikes from Minnesota and North Dakota. At 10:30 a.m. we had a briefing for the day’s mission.  At 11:00 a.m., six riders escorted Sgt. Matthew Harmon from the funeral home to the Fosston High School.  The remainder of the riders stood on the flag line at the school.  After the casket was brought into the school, we stood down and had time for coffee, water, cookies, and bars that were provided for us.  At 11:45 a.m. we re-established the flag line for the visitation.  We stood down at 2:15 p.m. to prepare for the escort to the cemetery in Lengby.  Jim Cyr took about 12 members who were in cages to the cemetery to set up a flag line for the arrival of Sgt. Harmon.  We re-established a flag line outside the school with about 25 members when they brought Sgt. Harmon from the services to the hearse.  The 25 members re-joined the remainder of the riders who were staging across the street for the escort to the Lengby cemetery.  We all proceeded to be lined up on HWY 2 with the Polk County Sherriff deputy escorting 4 fire trucks, our 100 bikes followed by the hearse and the family of Sgt. Harmon.  As we rode the seven miles to the Lengby cemetery at 25 mph, there were people along the entire route holding flags in honor of Sgt. Harmon and for support of his family.  Upon arrival we set up a flag line around the perimeter of the cemetery.  After the completion of the services, which included the ringing of the “Freedom Bell” seven times, we stayed in formation until the family had gone through and thanked each of us and left the cemetery.

Thanks to Jim Cyr and Curt Nelson for all their coordination for this mission and for all the participants who were able give of themselves for the honor, respect, and dignity of Sgt. Matthew Harmon, a true American Hero.

Gary Metcalf, RCIC