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Harley-Davidson Museum Honoring Vets Nov. 4-7

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Harley-Davidson war-time motorcycles from WWI.
Harley-Davidson's contributions to the American military go way back. This shot is from WWI. I think they should bring this particular model back for public consumption.
(photo copyright of H-D Archives).
We Salute You, Veterans!

That’s the rally cry of the Harley-Davidson Museum as it prepares to celebrate the upcoming Veterans Day. In honor of the brave men and women who diligently serve our country, the Museum is offering veterans and their families free admission from Nov. 4-7 with valid identification. This offer is extended to all military personnel (active, reserve, discharged and retired) and their immediate family (one adult and up to four children under the age of 18).

Scheduled events include a Gallery Talk about H-D’s relationship with the military on Thursday at 2 p.m. An Archives staff member will discuss the history of military vehicles and Harley-Davidson’s wartime contributions.

Friday’s events are highlighted by “Untold Stories: A Tribute to Pearl Harbor.” Guest speaker Dana Harbaugh will talk about his military background, share photographs of PHSA members and discuss why he decided to create the “Metal of Honor,” a Pearl Harbor tribute motorcycle.

Saturday will be the best day to visit as the Day of Honor will be highlighted by a Veteran’s Day Parade at 11 a.m. For riders interested in participating, it starts at 4th and Kilbourn and will end at the War Memorial. Later that day, the St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy will be performing a ceremony at the Museum honoring war veterans from WW I to current conflicts in period-correct military uniforms. The ceremony will honor six branches of the military and conclude with a 21 gun salute. St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy’s “Silver Rifles” will also perform. The Exhibition Drill Team will demonstrate precision marching as well as rifle spinning and tossing.

Glory, a bald eagle, will be on-site as an ambassador for the Harley-Davidson Museum, Boy Scouts will be on hand to conduct a ceremonial flag retirement ceremony, and the Museum is having an American Flag Collection where they will properly retire any worn American flag that’s brought in. The Museum is also conducting a Troop Care Collection Package, so if you have contributions for our servicemen and women, please bring it on down.

If you’re in the Milwaukee area from Nov. 4-7, stop on by. The Museum is open from 10-6 daily. Harley-Davidson will be showing its support for our Armed Services and invites you to do the same.
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John -MT350  October 29, 2010 01:24 PM
These bikes are Italian designed motorcycles sold to British and then to HD for God knows why. Brits are using KLRs and XRs so I guess that answers that question. Harley hasn't made a combat motorcycle since the 1940s.
Justin -army Harley  October 27, 2010 07:31 PM
The Army Harley was originally built by a British company called Armstrong. I guess Harley bought them out or bought the rights to produce the bike as the Harley Davidson MT350. A website I was just looking at said they were produced from 1993 to 2000, so I guess it's possible they were used in the early parts of the GWOT. Nothing against the Army, but I think the Marines were smarter to start with something off the shelf and improve on it, as they did with the KLR650.
Justin -Iraq Vet  October 27, 2010 07:20 PM
The current military motorcycle is a diesel powered KLR650, at least that's what they use in the Marines, don't even know if the Army still even uses motorcycles.... I did see a Harley Davidson built dual sport which Harley built for the Army in the seventies or eighties. It was for sale at the Harley Dealer in Swansboro, NC back in 1999. They were asking $14,000 for it. The guys told me that it was a copy of some British motorcycle, can't remember what brand, something obscure. So, I guess Harley has built bikes for our military in my life time, though I don't know if they were used in the Gulf, Grenada, Lebanon, or any other conflicts in my lifetime. The Harley museum is about 30 minutes away. Maybe I should ride my Triumph down there and check it out since it will be free.
John -Afghanistan Vet  October 27, 2010 05:18 PM
Todays combat veterans are not riding US made bikes. They haven't used any in any conflict since before most people in America were even born. Times have changed since our great, grand parents lived. Hell even the boots on our feet were made in China. When we come home most of us ride crotch rockets. Not because we hate any other bike, it's just how we feel.