Motorcyclists remember Native Americans through Trail of Tears Ride
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The Trail of Tears Remembrance Ride began in 1994 at Ross's Landing with about eight motorcyclists.
Now, hundreds join the caravan for what many consider to be one of the largest motorcycle rides in the world.
Rain wasn't enough to detour riders from remembering the thousands of Native Americans Saturday, who were forced from their homes in the Southeast and moved to Oklahoma in what would become the Trail of Tears.
In Chattanooga Native Americans were put on boats at Ross's Landing and taken down the Tennessee River or forced to walk the thousands of miles.
Now, motorcycles travel those same routes taken in 1838. Riders will pass through eight different states.
"We do this to honor the Native Americans," ride leader and founder and Bill Cason says.
"The only reason this is important to me because of my grand kids, they're Cherokee and my wife and plus we all have been through there. A lot of tribes have been through the Trail of Tears one way or another," Lee Trevino, with the Apache Tribe, says.
Organizers tell me between 300 and 400 riders started in Chattanooga but they'll end in Oklahoma with more than 150,000 riders taking part.