On Sunday, May 5, Orange Police Sgt. Ray LaPlante and Ofc. Pete Kingston joined about 3,000 motorcyclists in the Green Ribbon Ride for Newtown Victims, a charity event.
Sgt. Ray LaPlante is photographed during today’s Green Ribbon Ride.
The 29 mile ride brought the bikes through several valley towns including Shelton and Newtown and plenty of people lined the streets to cheer them on as they passed.
The two officers represented the Orange Police Department in the ride, and it isn’t the first time they’ve taken part in an event for the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting, memories that will never go away.
After today’s ride, LaPlante offered this statement, “It restores some faith in humanity to see how many people showed up for the ride and just to cheer us on from the curbs. Last December they held “We are Newtown” signs as we escorted the hearses. Today they held signs for us that read, “YOU are Newtown.” It’s impossible to keep your eyes dry when you witness the strength of these great people.”
From the heart
Sgt. LaPlante added, “Like so many others, when I heard that this benefit ride was being organized I had to participate. Almost every motorcycle cop that was there today had been in Newtown during the week that we all helped the families of the victims during so many wakes and funerals. We all cried and hugged family members and each other- and I will never forget the things I saw during that week in December.
“Today was different. Seventy five motor cops and about three thousand other riders came out to celebrate the lives of the twenty six victims,” he said. “People stood by the curbs along most of the route cheering rather than crying as they did when we passed with the funeral processions. Then we got to Newtown- and the mood changed again. Everyone wore green and held signs that said, “Thank you” and “YOU are Newtown.”
“So many of them just held their hands over their hearts and smiled warmly in appreciation. You could feel that they meant it- and that they remembered what we were doing when they last saw us,” he said. “The strength and class displayed by the people of Newtown every time they have been tested just leaves me in awe.
” So many people showed up for this benefit to lend their support, but I think it was more personal for the cops. If I couldn’t have escorted on the police motorcycle today I would have gone anyway on my own bike. I know Pete Kingston and I are very grateful that Orange allowed us to be there,” he said.
Organizers of the ride do not know if this will be an annual event or not.
All of the money raised today will go directly to Newtown funds and local children’s charities.
The Orange Police Department Motorcycle
Originally Published on: May 5, 2013 @ 8:07 p.m.