15 July 2008

POW/MIA Memorial, Cripple Creek, CO

Cripple Creek, CO is located in a valley west of Pike's Peak, less than an hour's drive from Colorado Springs.
It is an old Gold mining town. Mining has long gone, replaced by Casino's sprawling down the main street.

Near the top end of the town, there's a POW/MIA memorial.

In 1987, a small chopper shop known as High Counytry Custom Cycles was established. The owner's father was a WWII veteran. The owner and brother sold pins and patches to honour prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.

At that time, most didn't recognise the POW/MIA logo, so to raise awareness, he and his wife and some friends, put the POW flag on their bike's and rode through Colorado Springs. That day, the POW/MIA Recognition Ride was born.

As a few years past and the ride grew from a few dozen to over a thousand biker's, in 1993, it was decided to move the annual ride from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek. That first year in Cripple Creek, a stone was placed in the park at the end of the day's ride, to commemorate the soldiers.

As the year's have passed, the ride has grown in popularity and gained recognition across the country. Attendance was around 30,000 in 2000 and now has exploded to around 80,000+, helped by a resurgence in patriotism since 11th September 2001. The now 3 day event has become too large for Cripple Creek and is now being relocated to Winter Park, CO this year, but Cripple Creek will always have its' own memorial park.

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