AKRON, Ohio - Hundreds of motorcyclists turned out on a warm summer Sunday for the 20th Annual Police Memorial Motorcycle Rally which organizers called "The Final Ride."
This will be the last year for this particular event, which served a dual purpose: honoring fallen officers, and raising money for scholarships.
Cleveland Sgt. Andy Ezzo, who has been a driving force behind the ride, received a special proclamation marking his dedication of the event.
"I never did this for any attention," he told a crowd as the ride paused in Akron for a ceremony, "I did it to honor the fallen officers and serve our communities."
Akron's police chief told the crowd that seeing their support is important to officers, especially when they can face criticism from some quarters in doing their jobs.
"It weighs heavily on us," said Chief Kenneth Ball II, "Because we want to be accepted, we want people to understand that we are willing to risk our lives because it is what's necessary to keep our communities safe."
The ride began and ended at South East Harley Davidson in Bedford Heights, stopping in Akron for the ceremony along the way.