Public Relations

Never Forget
By Kari Kempka 

Much like many of you, I have grown up around motorcycles all my life. My first time on a bike was at the age of two and I instantly became hooked. As I grew, I also fell in love with the lifestyle and the amazing bikers who raised me and truly were my family! Also like many of you, I experienced many losses of those people I loved so much to motorcycle crashes; it's actually one of the main reasons I chose to get involved with ABATE.

Imagine my surprise when my hubby took me on a bike ride through the upper peninsula of Wisconsin and I found out there was a Motorcycle Memorial. It was a place that he had been before and thought I would want to see it ... and he was 100% correct. In 43 years, no one has ever told me about this and it was a trip that will remain one of those meaningful in my life! We spent a good two hours at the memorial and we were silent for much of that time. I could never in a million years describe what I was feeling during our visit but I can tell you that it changed me in so many ways.

There were bricks for those who have lost their lives, bricks for donations made to the park and items throughout the park that were donated from some amazing groups. Everyone who was represented was/is a motorcyclist or enthusiast. Despite the reason for their names being present, I wanted to make sure that I saw every brick and gave respect to each and every person who had lost their lives and to those who share in my passion for motorcycling. It was a very surreal moment and one that I will honestly never forget. It will stick with me forever!

It was then that I knew what my August article was going to be about. I'm sure many of you know about the memorial but for those who don't, I wanted to share. The people who are memorialized at this park in Sturgeon Bay are the people, along with past, present and future riders, that we are fighting for; for them and their families. They should never ever be forgotten. In fact, we should be doing more!

The park obviously accepts donations, groups donate sculptures or tables or benches and there is always an opportunity to tidy up the park. But if nothing else, I encourage everyone to visit this memorial and show your respects to our fallen brothers and sisters. I promise, you will not regret the trip! For me, it was a very real reminder of why I volunteer for ABATE and why I will continue to fight for our freedoms.

Kempka, Kari. "Never Forget." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Aug. 2017.

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