Why We Ride


Why do we do this, you ask?
Why bother to stand out in wind and rain for someone unknown?
Why do we ride through torrents chilled to the bone?
The answer is simple: “Because, Never Again!”

Never again will they return home in shame,
Never again will wearing their uniform cause them pain.
Never again will we forget why they serve.
No, Never Again.

But still I hear you say “Why does it matter to you?”
“They aren’t your friends,
your brothers, your sisters,
your father, your mother.”
War is a sad time for many; it is sad but true.
So, why do you gather in the gap between their families and their foes?
The answer is simple: “Because, Never Again!”

Never again will grieving parents, families and friends alone bear mourning’s toil.
Never again will hard-won freedom of speech be used to debase and destroy.
Never again will their sacrifice be dishonored upon their home soil.
No, Never Again.

Why do we gather, why do we ride?
Why travel this country far and wide?
We remember our grandfathers, fathers, brothers and others yet to come.
We stand proud through tears reflecting their courage and pride.
Because, Never Again.

That’s why we ride.
Laurel A. Bray
May 8, 2006

Origins of this poem:

One of my very first missions was for a soldier from Patten ME, where I graduated long ago.  (His name escapes me at the moment but he is listed on Larry Dearborn’s limo.)  We stood in the rain at about 35 degrees for hours that day.  I was so cold and wet that even with changing into dry clothes and the car heater on full blast, I don’t think I got warm until close to Old Town!!  Parts of the poem ran through my head that day on the way home and I finished writing it shortly after that mission.  Too soon after, my next mission was for SSG Dale Kelly Jr, Nancy Kelly’s husband, of Richmond, ME.  We lived in the same town, but unfortunately I’d never met them before.  I hadn’t done anything with the poem as far as sharing it with anyone, but after meeting Nancy, I knew she needed to have the first copy.  So, I added some graphics and printed it off and framed it and gave it to her.  I dedicated it in memory and honor of my great uncle, a WWI vet, my father, a WWII vet (thus Paratrooper’s Daughter my PGR name), and my brother, a Navy vet during the Vietnam war, and all my PGR family.
Over the next year or so, I gave a few copies to special people whom I met.  It then was added to the Maine PGR site and spread further.  A lady in CA (I think it was) who owned a shop that makes patches even made a special one in the shape of a dogtag, in blue and gold with “Never Again” on the tag; so if you ever come across someone with one on  their leathers, you will know the story.  Another PGR member asked to put it to music, but I don’t know if that project was completed as I have lost touch with him.
So, now as Paul Harvey would say, you know The Rest Of The Story.  Please share the story if you wish; it would bring me great joy to know my small attempt to honor you all lives on and may continue to do so.  Keep it upright and ride safe always.
With great respect and affection,
Laurel Bray
Paratrooper’s Daughter

Maine PGR and once Cage Captain