Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bergdahl’s parents to speak in Hailey

Gathering of support planned for June 28

Express Staff Writer

    Last summer, hundreds of motorcycles rumbled into Hailey from around the country to bring attention to the plight of captured Blaine County soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
    The first “Bring Bowe Back” rally at Hop Porter Park drew political leaders from around the state as well as local supporters, in what may have been the largest rally to raise awareness about Bergdahl, so far.
    Last year, Bob Bergdahl emphasized his son’s significance in the peace process as the U.S. prepared to withdraw from Afghanistan, where his son was captured by Taliban-affiliated militants in 2009.
    On June 28, Jani and Bob Bergdahl will once again take the stage at Hop Porter Park to speak at a rally in support of U.S. efforts to release their son.
    “We are thrilled to see our event grow by leaps and bounds this year”, said event co-chairman Stefanie O’Neill. “The outpouring of support for the ‘Bring Bowe Back’ in the past year has been phenomenal.”
    The event will kick off at 1 p.m. with the arrival of more than 1,000 motorcycles from across North America, escorted by Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter.
    “All are encouraged to line the streets of Hailey to welcome them,” O’Neill said.
     The motorcycles will be led by an Air Force squadron “missing man” formation, with Bob Bergdahl riding Bowe’s motorcycle in honor of his son. The lead bike will carry Miss Idaho, Sarah Downs.
    The event will run until 5 p.m. with live music from the Travis Hardy Band, local food and beverage vendors, informational booths and activities for children.
    The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. and, in addition to the Bergdahls, will feature several speakers, a balloon release and a live performance of the song “Bring Back Bowe.”
    There will be an informational meeting for all media prior to the start of the ceremony. Please contact Stefanie O’Neill at (208) 721-8884 for details or with any questions, or visit    

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