The Matua Riders held its first Freedom Ride as their way of commemorating Memorial Day. Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, two Guam Harley-Davidson personnel, motorcycle enthusiasts, and two local automobile clubs joined close to 50 Matua members in Sunday’s ride.
The convoy, which saw also a number of Matua members who are veterans taking part, converged at the Minatchom Atdao pavilion as early as 8am then headed out for their around-the-island ride a little past 10am.
Torres, a first-time rider, thanked the Matua for organizing the event as their way of honoring those who are in the armed forces, veterans, and especially those who died in serving the country.
“This is the Matua Riders’ way of thanking and honoring all of those who are in the armed services and all veterans, whether they are still alive or are no longer with us. That’s why I decided to join them when they asked me to ride with them,” said Torres.
“I am truly honored to be part of this event. I am thankful for the invitation. Thank you too to the whole club and Marie Igitol for the services they contribute to the community.”
“We thank all those who are in the armed forces for their sacrifice and time spent in keeping us safe. A special thank you also to all their families for their understanding in the job of their family members in protecting our freedom,” Torres added.
Matua secretary Marie Igitol said they are planning for a bigger event next year. “This is the first time and we invited all motorcyclists on the island. There are also two of our brothers from Guam who joined us as well as several local auto clubs.”
“This is one of our way of remembering the fallen heroes, the veterans, and their families. This is our heartfelt way of thanking them for all of their meaningful sacrifices,” added Igitol, whose husband Ivan is also a veteran and is Matua’s vice president.
From Minatchom Atdao, the group headed south to Coral Ocean and to the airport before going up to Dandan and all the way to San Vicente. They then headed up to Isa Drive going to Kagman before tuning back to Capital Hill.
From Capital Hill, they went toward Sadog Tasi and up north to Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, and Grotto and headed to Veterans Memorial Cemetery where they had a brief ceremony commemorating those who have died. They also stopped at American Memorial Park before heading back to Minatchom Atdao pavilion for lunch.
DPS’ Highway Safety and Share the Road programs, MARPAC, Mariana Resort, the Saipan Mayor’s Office, 670 Rocksteady Shop, MPACT 2 Auto Club, Team Exotic Auto Club, and J-Mac and Mr. G. of Harley-Davidson Guam, helped and supported the Freedom Ride.