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American Legion Post 443   Glassport

In 2017, Axelle, our daughter, moved to Pittsburgh, PA to do her undergrad at Duquesne University. After several years of visiting Axelle in the United States, I decided to buy a motorcycle in the US.

I’ve been riding motorcycles for about 38 years now and have traveled Europe extensively with them. Unfortunately, running our businesses in both Belgium and the Netherlands has been eating up most of my time to the point where I’ve been unable to fully enjoy riding my motorcycle in peace.

My thought process was that if I’m here in the United States, no one would be able to disturb me, and I could finally truly enjoy some time off. After some searching around, I finally settled on a 2013 Harley- Davidson Police Electra Glide and dragged my daughter and wife to Fredericksburg, VA to pick it up. (This motorcycle was used by the police but still in very good conditioning for my adventures in the USA). The drive back up to Pittsburgh, PA was already well worth it.

I quickly started to drive around Allegheny County and stopped by a small town named Glassport. I was astounded by the fact that every lamppost had a picture of a U.S. soldier attached to it. This kind of veteran pride is something that is unheard of in Belgium.

Seeing this, I just had to know more about it. I found a memorial site nearby and took a stop there.

After a short visit to this memorial, I walked back to my motorcycle, passing a building with the name “American Legion” on it.

Not knowing much about this topic, I asked an older gentleman who was sitting outside what the phrase meant exactly. He explained to me wat American Legion does for the Veterans. I told him that my family had also quite a few stories about the two world wars.

After we talked a bit more, I said goodbye to the man and proceeded to walk back to my motorcycle when he called me back.

He told me that there were a few people that would like to talk to me and invited me to follow him. Walking behind him through a small party and past a disco bar, we stopped at a door which led to a room/bar with quite a few older gentlemen sitting around.

The man that I met outside introduced me to all of them, many of them were veterans.

I spent the entire afternoon talking and listening to their stories.

At one moment, one of the men walked up to me and handed me a flag. I recognized it to be the flag that was attached to a large cross near the monument.

He proceeded to tell me that each flag at the cross represents a victim one of the many wars.

I was allowed to receive this flag, which represented one of his family members.

Shortly after, a second man proceeded to do the same.

I was deeply moved by this gesture.

It was then and there that I decided that I should do more than just the aimless motorcycle rides that I was planning.

In May 2023 I drove back to Glassport and donated a statuette.

Because it is here that I started thinking about a trip through the USA.

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