LawRide 2010: 15 Years of Riding to Honor the Fallen

Jonathan Nash really loved two things: being a police officer and riding motorcycles. So when the opportunity arose last September to help escort the remembrance ride for a fellow member of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Corporal Nash stepped forward.

Trooper Hardy Godbold was killed by a drunk driver in an on-duty automobile accident in February 1992, and his friends and colleagues organized a memorial charity ride for September 19, 2009. Corporal Nash was on his department motorcycle leading the procession northbound, when a southbound vehicle made a left turn in front of him. Corporal Nash, a 15-year veteran of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, was struck and dragged across an intersection. The 41-year-old father of one was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

Corporal Nash was one of three officers killed in the line of duty in motorcycle accidents in 2009. There are now some 1,249 motorcycle officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice throughout our nation’s history and whose names grace the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. On Sunday, May 9, these heroes—and all law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice—were remembered during the 15th Annual LawRide. The event traditionally kicks off the National Police Week observance in the nation’s capital.

With the morning chill still in the air, hundreds of law enforcement officers and other supporters—many of them members of various chapters of the Blue Knights—gathered in a parking lot at RFK Stadium in Northeast DC. At approximately 11 am, they started the solemn, three-mile journey down East Capitol Street, around the U.S. Capitol building, and to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. There, they held a brief ceremony and laid wreaths in honor of all the fallen heroes of American law enforcement, including Corporal Nash and Trooper Godbold.

As usual, it was a poignant start to National Police Week 2010.

Upcoming on the National Police Week Schedule

  • Monday, May 10: 31st Annual DC Area Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service, organized by the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 Auxiliary. Begins at 11 AM at the Metropolitan Police Department Memorial Fountain, 300 Indiana Avenue, NW.

For more information about National Police Week 2010, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.