LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An annual Memorial Day Weekend motorcycle rally is in full swing at the Longview Fairgrounds, one that brings riders from all over the country together.
Their rough tough image aside, bikers who came to the Party In The Pines had deep reasons for supporting the event and the charities it benefits.
"I lost my wife to cancer a few years back, so if it's a charitable organization, I'm first in line," said California rider Bob Lansdon. Some came from as far away as the West coast to participate. Air Force Airman Justin Parsons has only been home on leave in White Oak for 12 hours, but felt it was important to be at the event.
"I just remember like I've already lost a few friends in the short time I've been in, so it means a lot to be here and for everybody to share in this day and respect everyone," said Parsons.
"I spent 26 years serving my country, and it's just something I can do for the veterans that have already served, and it's just a special thing for me," said 26 year Army veteran Billy Morrow. For some it's a reminder that the party was paid for by generations of those who sacrificed.
"To everybody that's been in," said Parsons. "To everybody that has family members in, it's all the same, they all have the same respect." Among the fun and music, they'll remember what's important.
"We do need to remember those who made days like this possible because if it weren't for them, you wouldn't have days like this, so it is very special," said Morrow. Party In The Pines will conclude Sunday with more activities including a 300 bike parade through the city of Longview.