A spectacle of patriotism was presented in Malibu on Sunday, Sept. 10, during the 10th annual Ride to the Flags—a fundraising event to help wounded veterans that has been growing in numbers every year.
As nearly 3,000 flags waved on high on the lawn of Pepperdine University across the street, 400 motorcyclists—many with American flags adorning their bikes—convoyed to Malibu Bluffs Park in a show of solidarity and charity for wounded soldiers.
The Ride to the Flags started earlier in the day at the naval base in Ventura County, and included a 21-gun salute and wreath-laying ceremony to honor veterans. Then motorcyclists from all over Southern California (and as far away as Arizona, Florida and New York) —along with a few specialty lead cars, jeeps and sidecar bikes— began the 45-minute group ride down Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu Bluffs Park.
The riders, all volunteer fundraisers, were greeted at the park by a gigantic American flag suspended in air by two hook and ladder fire trucks, Boy Scout Troop 412 color guard from Fountain Valley, volunteers handing out small American flags and scores of spectators cheering to welcome them.
The Ride to the Flags and Wave of Flags memorial at Pepperdine are now iconic annual traditions in Malibu. They were started—along with the White Heart Foundation—by 2009 Pepperdine graduate Ryan Sawtelle, also a 2016 Dolphin Award winner.
The White Heart Foundation finds wounded warriors in need and helps them by providing special equipment like track chairs, housing, medical services,…
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