The Freightliner Group's Cleveland, N.C., Plant Celebrates Fourth Annual 'Ride of Pride' Event
'Ride of Pride IV' to Participate in Memorial Day Weekend Events in Washington, D.C. and Local Area before Joining Covenant Transport's Fleet
CLEVELAND, N.C….The Freightliner Group's Cleveland Truck Manufacturing Plant (TMP) employees have collaborated once more and have designed a one-of-a kind truck to honor the memory of our military's veterans, MIAs and POWs.
The highly-decorated Freightliner Columbia model truck, named "Ride of Pride IV," is leading a patriotic caravan of more than 100 N.C. motorcyclists on a 400-mile journey to the nation's capital today. Employee volunteers will return with the memorial truck by Monday to participate in local veterans Memorial Day activities before it becomes part of Covenant Transport's truck fleet.
"The Ride of Pride IV is a testament to our support of American veterans," said Plant Manager Bob Pacillas. "Each year, Freightliner Cleveland employees come together to build an extraordinary truck that pays tribute to war veterans, POWs and MIAs. This year's truck is no exception."
The Ride of Pride IV truck has been purchased by Covenant Transport, located in Chattanooga, Tenn., and will become part of the company's 3,800- truck fleet after its Memorial Day weekend activities.
The special full cab artwork for this year's Ride of Pride IV truck features the words "Let Freedom Ring" below an American eagle perched on a dog tags chain located on the front sleep cab. The words "Honoring all who serve ... past and present" are located below the truck's side panels which feature the POW/MIA flag resting on top of an American flag trimmed in gold. The front hood showcases a yellow ribbon containing the words "Support our troops."
The "Ride of Pride IV" began with an early morning tribute at the Freightliner facility in Cleveland, N.C. Local and North Carolina elected officials joined Freightliner employees to observe the flag raising ceremony and 21-gun salute by the Veterans Council of Rowan County Honor Guard.
To cheers of flag-waving employees and well-wishers, the truck along with more than 100 motorcyclists pulled onto NC Highway 70 west and Interstate 77 north toward the nation's capital.
Employee volunteers will display the Ride of Pride IV truck at the veterans hospital in Washington D.C. on Saturday, May 28 and then will join 250,000 motorcycle-riding veterans supporters from across the country on Sunday, May 29 for the Rolling Thunder® national Ride for Freedom event. It will have a prominent place in the annual ride through the nation's capital in remembrance of POWs and MIAs -- the first non-motorcycle in a miles-long procession -- and serve as a traffic blocker or barricade at the Pentagon.
On Monday, May 30, employee volunteers will drive the truck to the annual memorial service at the Salisbury (N.C.) National Cemetery, the Hefner VA Medical Center and Local VFW 3006.
The Cleveland, N.C., Truck Manufacturing Plant employs more than 3,800 people in the production of Freightliner-brand heavy-duty (Class 8) trucks.