MIA (Missing In Action), PFC Lawrence Gordon is finally laid to rest, seventy years after his death to the day. Fifty three men and women, almost all from Run For The Wall family mounted their iron horses before the sun came up, 5:30 am in Havre, MT and rode into the darkness to the Canadian border. After a lengthy delay to get into the country, rode to a hill just outside Eastend Canada awaiting the arrival of the hurst carrying the remains of a hero long forgotten.
PFC Gordon, born in Canada but fought for the USA during WWII, was killed and his body was lost in the confusion of war and a multitude of bodies so badly burned and/ or dismantled that identification was not properly done. The USA government had told the family he was identified and properly buried. However, when his namesake nephew went to view the grave, it could not be found. When the government of the USA would not make the proper effort to find what had happened to him, the nephew began the costly and grueling journey to find his uncle. With a lot of assistance from others, a willing French government and determined heart, DNA was done earlier this year to prove the remains of PFC Gordon were positively identified.
Mission:M25 had six riders present, Bo & Debbie Pearson, Alan Atkins, Jerry Plent, Gary and Carolyn Burd all joining in the ride to bring closure to this family. Bishop for the IPHC in Canada Gordon McDonald was present upon the arrival at the community center where the funeral service was held.
People have asked, ‘why is it so important to find the remains to a family?’. If you could have seen the relief and listened to the comments of the family, as they laid to rest their uncle, cousin, etc. you would understand. As Gary Burd was praying the final prayer before the dinner that night he thanked the Lord for allowing the riders to have a small part in bringing peace to the family. He noted the fact the Lord never lost sight of PFC Gordon because the Bible states a sparrow can fall and God notices, how much more would He do for a young soldier boy, however, now the family knows where the remains have fallen.
The feelings cannot be expressed as you ride a motorcycle with that roaring engine beneath you and you hear on the CB Radio, ‘folks, this is the parade PFC Lawrence Gordon never received, let’s do it right’. You turn the throttle, take your position in the formation and begin to wave at the people standing on the side of the road. As the hurst pulls down the stretch, you know you have truly ridden for those that can’t, brought honor to his sacrifice, healing to his family and an awareness of the sacrifice that was paid that people might be free and a wrong might be righted.
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