American Bikers 'Run to the Wall' for Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Motorcyclists are known for their cross country rides to honor American war veterans. One event -- Run for the Wall -- finishes at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington.

Now, some of those bikers have crossed the ocean to ride to a much more ancient Wall, in an event called Run to the Wall, Israel.

"We're a bunch of patriots and a few veterans," Texas Pastor Gary Burd told CBN News. "We're here simply to tell another warrior that we appreciate them and we love them and then to get to tour the land on a motorcycle is just the cream on top of all of it."

More than 30 Americans and their wives shipped their motorcycles overseas and rode to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in support of the Israel Defense Forces.

"To our understanding, it's the first time it's ever been done -- the first time for us for sure," Burd said.
 
Some 120 Israeli bikers joined the American Harleys. Burd, who organized the event, heads Mission-M-25 -- that's Matthew 25.

"When I road down those cobble stoned roads in between those rock walls and that old Harley's just bouncing off the wall and I thought of King David [and] Jesus and so many men that I've studied, how they walked down there and man, I teared-up and began to thank God," Burd said.

CBN News followed the American bikers as they roared down to the Dead Sea.

Decked in leather, they took to the trail on foot at Ein Gedi where King David hid with his men.

"My Bible tells me that I'm to stand with Israel," Pastor Wes Alvarez, from Pensacola, Fla., told CBN News.

"As a United States Army vet, I see that the veterans of their armed forces and all those who keep things moving along the way, the way they're supposed to here in Israel, they need to know that people are standing with them and praying for them," he said.

The group took time at Ein Gedi for prayer and worship.
 
"God shall send forth his mercy and his truth," one of the biker's told the group. "And that's the two things David learned in this encampment."

For Virginia Pastor and Marine Corps veteran Kevin McBride, who leads the Crossroads Church in Petersburg, Va., it was a special first-time visit to the holy land.

"I understand what it means to defend my country and so for me it's more or less giving them an applause, honoring them," McBride said.

And what did Israelis think?

"There's been a lot of excitement -- a lot of children. We've taken pictures on motorcycles and so we've had a great experience," he said.

*Original broadcast November 16, 2011. 

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Reporter

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