LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Remembering the past, and inspiring others for the future is the purpose for a motorcycle ride that rolled through East Mississippi and West Alabama Wednesday. About a dozen riders with the 2nd Annual Underground Railroad Re-Run motorcycle ride are revved up and ready for the almost 700 mile trek.
The group is heading to the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. The purpose is to call attention to all who helped slaves escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad during the 1700s and 1800s.
"We need to know about how the slaves; we cannot forget them. I think that's the easiest way to put it," says Gailya Porter, who is the co-founder for the non-profit organization.
"We don't think that we can encounter anything in today's world as bad as what we've already encountered and overcome," says Walter Gardner, who is president of the group. "So, I think if we look back as to what they did and think about it, then we can do greater things to overcome whatever obstacles that we run into now."
Walter Gardner is from Newton County. He says members of the Underground Railroad Re-Run effort are currently from Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
"We have started a chapter in Atlanta, and it's coming on strong," says Gardner.
Don Hudson and Edward Lewis are both riders from Huntsville.
"It's about the message why we're riding, and to remember history," says Lewis.
Riders say their message is one of hope. That's why for the first time the group is presenting two scholarships this year; one will go to a deserving student in Mississippi and the other is expected to go to another student in either Alabama or Georgia.
As for the riders, more are set to join the group in Alabama. Their plan is to arrive in Cincinnati on Friday. As part of the ride the group is set to participate in brief ceremonies in Selma, Huntsville and Cincinnati.