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Our story starts on a heartbreaking day, September 13th, 2013. Rockwell City police officer Jamie Buenting was shot and killed in the line of duty. Jamie was an officer for twelve years, eight of which he served for the Rockwell City community. Shortly after Jamie's passing, it was then decided to create an annual ride named the Jamie Buenting Memorial Ride with the first ride to be held on June 21st, 2014. Days before the first memorial ride on June 17th, 2014, we lost one of our very own firefighters, Nicholas Hildreth, to a tragic accident. We continued to hold the first ride as scheduled while remembering the sacrifice of Jamie and mourning the loss of Nick. It came time to plan the ride for the following year in 2015 and it was decided we would change the name of the ride from the Jamie Buenting Memorial Ride to the Hometown Heroes Memorial Ride that everyone knows to this day in honor of both Jamie and Nick and their service to their community. We held the memorial ride in 2015 and 2016 with great support, in honor of Jamie and Nick, along with other police and fire personnel who lost their lives tragically every year. Then, on November 2nd, 2016, Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin, a Rockwell City native, was shot and killed in the line of duty. In 2017, we honored Justin at the Memorial Ride, along with Jamie and Nick. We continued to host the memorial rides in 2018 and 2019. The 7th Annual Memorial Ride was to be scheduled for June 20th, 2020 but was unfortunately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 7th annual ride was set to have special honors in remembrance of Pastor Al Henderson who tragically lost his life on October 2nd, 2019. We had the privilege for Pastor Al to lead our ride off in prayer for several years, Pastor Al was also the Chaplain for several local departments. We were fortunate enough to be able to hold the 7th Annual Hometown Heroes Memorial Ride on June 19th, 2021. On this day we held a moment of silence in memory of Pastor Al, along with the t-shirt design for the year included the famous phrase he always used "Carry On". We hold all of these men near and dear to our hearts, they can not ever be replaced and will never be forgotten. Their memory lives on not only through us and our ride but with the communities they served and the people that continue to show their support for their first responders.
Hometown Heroes Memorial Ride
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