- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - After traveling nearly 1,000 miles, cyclists from the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee have completed their ride to retrace the northern route of the Trail of Tears in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

According to a news release, 12 Cherokee Nation members and seven Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians participated in the ride that started June 7 and ended Thursday.

The cyclists, ranging in age from 16 to 37, spent three weeks riding in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas to arrive at the Cherokee Nation Courthouse Square.

According to the release, the riders visited gravesites and landmarks significant to the Trail of Tears.

The Cherokee Nation held the first ride in 1984 as a leadership program so Cherokee youth would remember the journey about 16,000 people were forced to make to Indian Territory.

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