Wearing their black leather vests, an American flag waving behind each bike, the American Legion Riders bore the 101 degree heat while driving their motorcycles to Homestead House to perform a flag ceremony on Wednesday.

Those in attendance put a hand over their heart or saluted the flag while listening to The Star-Spangled Banner, officially kicking off Homestead House’s Veterans Appreciation Ceremony.

Attendees then gathered inside to view the new Wall of Honor. Flags from all the branches hang above pictures of John Dando, Robert Dotson, Leon Freese, Dennis Gibson, Edwin Schneider Ernest Unbefunde and the late Ernest Parde while they were in the military.

The Legion Riders then led a salute to the veterans being recognized.

Suzanne Gill, Homestead House’s executive director, said they are still compiling the details from each veteran’s service, which they plan to record and hang alongside each veteran’s picture.

Michelle Mayfield, Homestead House’s director of sales and marketing, said the idea for the Wall of Honor came from seeing their sister properties have one.

“It’s just a way to give back to them a little bit, because it’s pretty important, pretty special,” Mayfield said.

Also in attendance were the veteran’s families, as well as several veterans from The Kensington Senior Living Community.

As it was also National Hotdog Day, everyone was invited to a hotdog dinner complete with chips, coleslaw, popcorn and cold drinks.

Mayfield said she hopes to make the ceremony an annual event, adding more veterans to the Wall of Honor.

“We can do what we can do because of them, so we honor them and we try to get them the benefits that they need and any kind of help that we can arrange for them,” Gill said.

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