‘Tribute to Fallen Soldiers’ honors fallen airman Lawrence Manlapit
The 12th annual Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Memorial Torch Motorcycle Ride stopped in Trumbull Monday afternoon to honor Lawrence Manlapit – the airman killed in a collision on a highway in Idaho in 2018.
The procession of veteran on motorcycles starts out on the West Coast and makes its way across the country.
The motorcade stops from community to community to comfort families who are grieving the loss a military member.
The event in honor of Manlapit included the presentation of a plaque and photos, bell ringing and the signing of a flag.
The ceremony's activities are all geared to express sympathy and comfort to the veterans' surviving families.
"All the love spewed just when they arrived, I was like, 'Oh my God! There they are! Is this really happening?' I was like, 'all for you baby boy,'" said Dorine Norko, of Trumbull.
A member of the motorcade was from Idaho and was there the day Manlapit died.
"My heart goes out to them because I was there," said Richard Coles, of Idaho. the biker from outside Boise connected with the Connecticut family. "It breaks my heart," he said.
Norko said the community was overwhelmed by the motorcades tribute and are thankful to them in keeping the memories of fallen soldiers alive.
"And knowing that the community out there also support us there also remembering our children that they won't be forgotten and that they live this every day since they were taken," she said.
The ride that started in Oregon is making its way to Arlington National Cemetery.