VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – After nearly two and half years of work, Griffin Bike Park officially opened today. It was such an anticipated event that it brought vice presidential nominee Mike Pence right here to Vigo County.
300 acres of land and 16 miles of trails, the public is invited to use Griffin Bike Park year round. It’s located at 10700 Bono Road in Terre Haute, IN. It is free to the public.
Today, Gene and Dona Griffin saw their family’s tragedy turn into a community’s treasure.
“Since we’ve lost our son, the wind comes up when we think about him,” said Gene Griffin. “I don’t know if you saw the flag swelled at the end of it and come back down. It’s pretty touching.”
Today’s grand opening of Griffin Bike Park is in honor of their son Sergeant Dale Griffin.
He lost his life while serving in Afghanistan in 2009. Dale was a son, brother and a servant for our freedom.
“He is thrilled we’re out here doing this,” said Dona Griffin. “These are the freedoms he fought for.”
Dale rode along the very trails at the new park. He learned here about taking risks. Risks that he pursued serving the country.
Now a memorial for him sits along one of these trails.
“He biked right by that within 50 feet and so his spirit lives here in that respect,” said Gene.
“Each and every day as people make their ways up and down these trails they’ll manifest the extraordinary energy and dedication that characterized Dale’s life,” said Governor Mike Pence.
“That’s what we saw today. When a community comes together in unity and sets their differences aside what magnificent things can come from it,” said Gene.
This bicentennial project didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took 16,000 hours, 1,200 volunteers and 87 sponsors to make this idea a reality.
“It was here he pushed himself,” said Pence. “It was here where he found what was in him and America found a hero.”
So as people travel along these trails, they’ll be reminded of the man who put on a uniform.
Who is just right there, in the breeze that lifts the flag.
The Griffins say there’s a lot more work to be done at the park. If you are interested in helping, contact the Griffin Bike Park Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/griffinbikeparkIN/
To register for races and get full event details visit the website here: https://griffinbikepark.com/