Thousands of motorcycle riders hit the road to remember the Trail of Tears

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The route from Bridgeport to Waterloo looks much different today than it did in the 1830s.

“I think it just touches a lot of people’s hearts for the heartache that went on,” President of the local chapter of Forgiven Riders Bruce Bice said.

While the commemorative Trail of Tears Motorcycle ride brings thousands of bikers together, it’s not exactly a cause for celebration.

“When you think about the miles they walk, and the people dying along the way, it’s more something you cry about, if you think about it,” Iroquois Indian Gerald Webb said.

Following the Indian Removal Act of 1830, General Winfield Scott ordered the removal of more than 17,000 Cherokee Indians from the Easter US to Oklahoma. A piece of history that still casts a black cloud over a sunny memorial ride that covers some of the same miles.

“The remembrance is good. United States is built on history and you should never forget your history, be it good or bad,” Webb said.

Not everyone has Native American blood flowing through their veins, but it doesn’t mean they don’t share the pain of the past.

“I think for the most part people have forgotten and they just don’t care, I think that’s the major problem,” Rider Rob Cooper said.

Because those who don’t honor their history are doomed to repeat it, and this is a dark chapter we never want to repeat.