Motorcycle club escorts, plants trees honoring WWI veterans

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) 75 trees were escorted through Fort Wayne Saturday morning before being planted at Memorial Park.

The event, led by Warrior Breed Motorcycle Club, was part of the revitalization of the park.

“It’s incredible and quite humbling, to be honest, to be a part of something like this,” Club President Gary Perkey said.

Military personnel and Warrior Breed Motorcycle Club escort trees through downtown to Memorial Park.

Police, fire and military personnel joined the club along the route which began at 10:00 a.m. at Shade Trees Unlimited in Columbia City, stopped at Hearth of Sycamore Village and traveled through downtown Fort Wayne before concluding with remarks at the park.

“Memorial Park looked like it might get repurposed and there wasn’t many of us that liked that idea and as it turns out, it didn’t,” Perkey explained. “We couldn’t let it stand with that. We decided we needed to come out and support Memorial Park, specifically Memorial Grove.”

In total, 125 trees will stand in the grove, honoring 125 lives lost in WWI.

“What this Warrior Breed veterans group has taken on is really a great gift to Memorial Park and the citizens of Fort Wayne,” Councilman Geoff Paddock said.

The park has suffered other damage over the years. Veterans and city officials planned to work together to make repairs and updates. Members of the club planted the privately funded trees, with guidence from Shade Trees Unlimited staff, which mark just the start of the work.

Members of Warrior Breed Motorcycle Club bury trees at Memorial Park in honor of fallen veterans.

“It’s such an uplifting moment to see people working together on such a positive project and such a wonderful improvement… not only to this wonderful, historic park, but to honor veterans who served in World War One,” Paddock said while watching the trees be planted.

“A hundred years ago there was a committee, I’m sure, discussing Memorial Park and what they were going to do to memorialize these WWI vets and here were are 100 years later doing the exact same thing, having the same discussions and planting these trees one again,” Perkey added.

An official dedication is set for Veterans Day, November 11 at 2:00 p.m.