CLARK, NJ - On Sunday July 9 approximately 500 motorcycle enthusiasts gathered at the Duetscher Club to celebrate the lives of two of America's fallen heroes, Port Authority Police Officer David LeMagne and US Marine Corps Corporal Jason Dunham.
The day started with the presentation of the colors by the Port Authority Police Pipes and Drums band, escorted in by the Honor Guard carrying the colors.
A short memorial service was conducted and the lives of LeMagne and Dunham were recounted for all to hear. Dunham’s story was recounted by Dan Joy from the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club.
Dunham was a rifle squad leader in Iraq. On July 14, 2004 while serving with 3-7 Kilo Company, his squad reacted to the attack of his battalion commanders convoy. His squad stopped a column of insurgents and while removing them from the vehicle to search for weapons, an insurgent attacked Dunham, engaging him in hand to hand combat.
After subduing the insurgent on the ground, the insurgent removed a grenade from his pocket and pulled the pin throwing it on the ground by Dunham's approaching squad mates. Dunham cried out a warning to his men and then threw himself on the grenade taking the explosion to his own body to save his men.
Dunham lived for 8 days until on April 22, 2004 he received his final orders to heaven’s gate. For his heroic actions, he received the Purple Heart, and our nation’s highest award, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
National President of Fourth Watch Motorcycle Club Frank DePinto recalled Police Officer LeMagne's story while LeMagne’s parents looked on. LeMagne started as an explorer in Union City at 16 years old. He became an EMT then a paramedic, working for Jersey City Medical Center EMS, UMDNJ EMS and New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority EMS.
LeMagne made a career change and in June 2001, graduated the Port Authority Police Departments academy. Several months later on September 11th he was assigned to PATH NJ.
LeMagne begged his bosses to allow him to go to NYC telling them he was a trained paramedic. Eventually, they allowed him to go. David succeeded in rescuing many civilians and members of service before the building came down and killed him.
The leader of the Memorial Service, Michael Carrig, President of Fourth Watch MC's local charter, Raritan Valley, called for a moment of silence for recent fallen members of service. Next Father Francis Rella led the group in a prayer and blessed the riders as they took to their bikes.
The group departed on a police-escorted 62 mile ride before returning to delicious German fare and a great band at the Duetscher Club.
Throughout the event, attendees were reminded by each speaker that in telling the story of these fallen heroes, they live on. “Every time we talk about them, they live on, so tell everyone you know these stories," said Carrig.
This year’s sponsors for the event were the Union County FMBA Local 99 and Fourth Watch MC Nation.
Editor's Note: TAPinto Clark would like to thank Michael Carrig for his extensive support that made this story possible.