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Back the Blue Parade Honors Fallen First Responders

Panama City Beach, Florida – The Panama City Beach Police Department continued its longstanding tradition of holding a motorcycle parade during the Thunderbeach weekend, paying tribute to fallen first responders.

The annual event, known as the Back the Blue Parade, aims to raise awareness about the importance of safety in the line of duty.

For nearly two decades, the Panama City Beach Police Department has organized the motorcycle parade as part of Thunderbeach weekend.

The parade holds special significance as it honors the memory of Officer Kevin Kite, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty in 2005.

Officer Kite was performing a routine traffic stop when he was shot and killed by an armed individual.

His sacrifice serves as a reminder of the risks faced by first responders and the dedication they show in protecting the community.

The Back the Blue Parade has become a cherished tradition for both the police department and the community.

It serves as a solemn tribute not only to Officer Kite but also to other fallen first responders and members of the military.

Participants and onlookers alike express their gratitude and support, ensuring that these brave individuals are not forgotten.

The timing of the parade is particularly significant, as it precedes National Police Week, a time when the nation pays tribute to the fallen.

The parade provides a meaningful lead-up to the week-long event and helps raise awareness about the sacrifices made by law enforcement personnel.

Over the years, the Back the Blue Parade has grown in popularity.

Josie Carry, the parade coordinator, expressed her delight at the increasing number of riders participating each year.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has managed to attract a substantial turnout, returning to pre-pandemic numbers.

Riders from various clubs across Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee joined local law enforcement officers, further fostering a sense of unity and support.

This year’s parade was also successful in generating funds for the Panama City Beach Police Department.

Thanks to generous donations from participants and the community, nearly $1,000 was raised.

The funds will contribute to supporting the department’s ongoing efforts to serve and protect the community.

Looking ahead, organizers are already planning for next year’s parade.

They aim to expand the parade route to encompass the entirety of Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach.

With the support of the community and local authorities, the Back the Blue Parade will continue to be a powerful display of appreciation for the men and women who dedicate their lives to ensuring public safety.

The biannual Back the Blue Parade has become an integral part of the Thunderbeach weekend, serving as a reminder of the sacrifices made by first responders and the importance of rallying behind them.

It stands as a testament to the resilience and unity of the Panama City Beach community.

  • Alex Light, News 13 Panhandle

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