Law enforcement officers from across the country are on a 3-day bicycle and motorcycle ride to Washington, D.C. to honor fallen officers, including some from our area.
Law Enforcement United, an organization consisting of local, state and federal officers, were in Berks County on Thursday, honoring the sacrifice and service of those who put their lives on the line.
More than 35 officers gathered outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wyomissing to embark on their 200-miles trek to the nation's capital.
"Here to York the first day, York to Maryland the second day and Maryland to Washington, D.C. the third day," said Tricia Wertz, widow of Reading Police Ofc. Scott Wertz, who was killed in the line of duty in 2006. "It's our first ride leaving from Pennsylvania."
Tricia Wertz said she helped organize the L.E.U.'s Pennsylvania division. Before continuing their route, riders stopped at the Berks County FOP Memorial in Bern Township, where a special ceremony was held.
Their next stop was the Spring Township Police Department, where residents showed their support and encouragement.
Dustin Schappell, a veteran officer of the Baltimore Police Department, said he's riding in honor of Scott Wertz, who was his brother-in-law. Schappell said he has constant reminders with him that will keep him going.
"Our Humvee has two bikes on top. One is to signify a fallen rider or fallen officer, and the other one is actually Detective Kyle Pagerly's road bike that he used when he would do his road rides. Anytime I get tired, I look up there," said Schappell.
Once in Washington, the officers will join thousands of officers from across the country at the National Peace Officers Memorial Day services.
While the 3-day ride comes with its challenges, the officers said honoring their fallen brothers and sisters is well worth the journey.