On March 25, Roll to Wreaths will host an Honor Ride in honor of Staff Sargent Ruben Rivers, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient from Pottawatomie County.
“It's not about who's riding, it's about who we are riding for,” Roll to Wreaths Founder Rowdy Butler said. “One of the most important things we can do is honor our veterans.”
The Honor Ride will consist of a five-stop poker run, starting at 11:00 at Papa's Leather North, 6629 NW 23rd Street in Bethany and the ride will conclude at the American Legion in Tecumseh, 201 E. Park Street.
There will be a wreath ceremony starting at 5 p.m. at the American Legion. Butler and Roll to Wreaths will present the wreath to a member of Rivers' family.
Rivers, of African-American and Cherokee heritage, served in World War II as a member of the 761st Tank Batallion. While serving in France, his battalion was attached to Company A with the 104th infantry assigned to attack German forces in northeast France.
Rivers, who was born in Tecumseh, was killed in action on Nov 19, 1944 but his family did not receive his Medal of Honor until 1997. Rivers' family also received a Silver Star and Purple Heart for his war efforts.
According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Rivers was awarded the Medal of Honor for, “extraordinary heroism in action during the 15-19 November 1944, toward Guebling, France. Though severely wounded in the leg, Staff Sergeant Rivers refused medical treatment and evacuation, took command of another tank, and advanced with his company in Guebling the next day. Repeatedly refusing evacuation, Sergeant Rivers continued to direct his tank's fire at enemy positions through the morning of Nov. 19, 1944. At dawn, Company A's tanks began to advance towards Bougaktroff, but were stopped by enemy fire. Sergeant Rivers, joined by another tank, opened fire on the enemy tanks, covering company A as they withdrew. While doing so, Staff Sergeant River's tank was hit, killing him and wounding the crew. Staff Sergeant Rivers' fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his unit and exemplify the highest traditions of military service.”
Admission to the ride will be $25 for riders and $15 for passengers. Registration will take place at Papa's Leather the morning of the event. There will be burgers and cake following the wreath ceremony.