Governor's Ride kicked off annual Trail of Honor - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Governor's Ride kicked off annual Trail of Honor

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This weekend kicks off Mississippi's three day event, designed to honor veterans, and share their stories of heroism. The Trail of Honor is being held May 17th through the 19th, at the south Jackson Harley-Davidson shop, and is entering it's 12th year.

This event began as just a pit stop for motorcyclists participating in the Run For The Wall, passing through as they made their way to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.

Now it's a large event, staffed by more than 300 living historians and volunteers, which attracted more than 30-thousand people last year.

Festivities started Friday as Governor Phil Bryant addressed veterans at the VA hospital.

Governor Bryant gave 50th commemorative pins to vets, then led a caravan of motorcyclists to the Harley Davidson shop.

"Our children don't get the opportunity to recognize until they see this wall how many lives were lost," said Bryant. "To many of them, Vietnam is a faraway place in a distant past, so we want to recognize not only this but there will be exhibits beginning with the french Indian war. It is important that they come and realize that freedom is not free and people died for this right."

A traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall is again the centerpiece of the trail. Those that served in the war say it's an important piece of history everyone should experience at least once.

"Under this umbrella we call freedom, there's a price that's paid," said Congressional Medal of Honor winner Gary Wetzel. "So it makes them aware of not only having the wall come into town, but the Trail of Honor shows different conflicts the nation has been in, lets the kids know there is a price for freedom."

Visitors to the trail can see displays of military conflicts from the past, and those that served in them. A short walk for a lifetime veterans history lesson. The Trail of Honor is fee to the public.

The motorcyclists making the Run For The Wall arrive here around noon Monday.

Organizers will have people along I-55, starting at Vicksburg with cannons, flags and other war memorabilia, welcoming them to town.

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