Published On: Thu, Jun 19th, 2014

Removal Riders to pull into Tahlequah today

Remember the Removal Riders are shown (left-right) at an original Trail of Tears historic site in Port Royal State Park, Tenn.: bottom row - Jamekah Rios, Adriana Collins, Zane Scullawl; top - Jacob Chavez, Keeley Godwin, Tye Carnes, Cassie Moore, Elizabeth Burns, Katie Sneed, Charli Barnoskie, Ride Coordinator Jospeh Erb, Chance Rudolph, Pat Watkins, Madison Taylor, Russell Bigmeat, Noah Collins, Jordan McLaren, Ty Bushyhead Boyd, Kelsey Standingdeer Owle and Richie Sneed at an original Trail of Tears historic site in Port Royal State Park, Tennessee.  (Cherokee Nation photo)

Remember the Removal Riders are shown (left-right) at an original Trail of Tears historic site in Port Royal State Park, Tenn.: bottom row – Jamekah Rios, Adriana Collins, Zane Scullawl; top – Jacob Chavez, Keeley Godwin, Tye Carnes, Cassie Moore, Elizabeth Burns, Katie Sneed, Charli Barnoskie, Ride Coordinator Jospeh Erb, Chance Rudolph, Pat Watkins, Madison Taylor, Russell Bigmeat, Noah Collins, Jordan McLaren, Ty Bushyhead Boyd, Kelsey Standingdeer Owle and Richie Sneed at an original Trail of Tears historic site in Port Royal State Park, Tennessee. (Cherokee Nation photo)

 

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — After traveling nearly 1,000 miles retracing their ancestors’ footsteps along the northern route of the Trail of Tears, the 2014 Remember the Removal bike riders will end their journey Thursday, June 19 arriving in Tahlequah to family and friends.  A celebration is planned at 2pm.

“The pain I felt going up Cumberland Gap in Tennessee was so bad that it had to be the closest I’ve ever felt to the pain our ancestors experienced on the Trail of Tears,” said Keeley Godwin, a 21-year-old Northeastern State University student. “There were times that I wanted to give up, but it felt like someone was always right there behind me pushing me to move forward.”

The riders averaged 60 miles per day, starting in New Echota, Georgia, on June 1, and traveled across Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas to end at the Cherokee Nation Courthouse in downtown Tahlequah. Riders will return to a celebration, including speakers and entertainment.

– Cherokee Nation

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