WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the site of wounded veterans biking at the White House is a mark of how far they've come.
With a blast from an air horn, Obama set off cyclists Thursday in the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride. It's one of many such events around the country to raise money and attention.
"I know some of you are doing this for the very first time; some of you have ridden three or four times," Obama said. "Some of you are riding in tandem with your parents. Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you this is a lot more than a bike ride -- this is a mark of how far you’ve come."
"Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries," Obama continued. "Some of you have had to learn the basics all over again -- how to stand again, how to walk again, how to run again. And now you’re here today because that’s what Soldier Ride is all about -- seeing each other through the finish line."
Many at the White House were in specially built bikes that could accommodate amputations or other injuries.
They pedaled laps on the road around the South Lawn while a military band played patriotic songs. Some high-fived Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as they passed.
Obama says the riders inspire him with their resolve and tenacity and make him proud to be commander in chief.