MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville resident Lou Popp is one of tens of thousands of patriot bikers from across the country participating in a national movement honoring those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The first “2 Million Bikers to D.C.” event calls on bikers from across the United States to ride to Washington, D.C. to honor first responders for their courage and sacrifice on 9/11, as well as the men and women of the armed services for the defense of the nation. The ride is also organized to counter protest the “Million American March Against Fear,” formerly called by the more inflammatory name, the “Million Muslim March,” which protests against post-9/11 policies.
“We want to show that we honor those from 9/11 and the ones that have fallen since because of terrorism from overseas. We want to do this on that day because we feel like those people who lost their lives need to be honored and having the Million Muslim March protesting that day isn’t a good thing; the ride is to also overshadow that,” said Popp, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. “My reasoning for going to D.C. is because I’m a veteran and a patriotic American. Most of the bikers are veterans; they served their country and they feel the need to serve one more time.”
Popp and a group of 100 to 150 bikers from middle Georgia plan to meet at Cowboys in the Country in Rutledge at 9 a.m. Monday to begin their 15-hour journey to the nation’s capital at 11 a.m. The group will travel through Augusta and Columbia, S.C. before stopping in Fayetteville, N.C. six hours later to stay overnight. The ride will continue Tuesday morning until reaching the Harley Davidson dealership in Fort Washington, Md. where all bikers from across the U.S. will register to participate in the 30-mile ride through D.C. while passing by various memorials.
“My part of the trip from Milledgeville to D.C. is 740 miles one way, or 1,480 miles round-trip. I’ll be riding my 2005 Kawaski Vulcan Classic 800 in red and chrome,” Popp said. “Out of Georgia, nine riders are taking support vehicles with trailers to follow us up.”
As of noon Thursday, more than 45,000 bikers from across the country had planned to participate in the ride via Facebook.
“On the state level, the support has been outrageous. We have probably 500 to 600 people that are going through Facebook, and from that the word has just spread,” Popp said. “There are some people from New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming who are leaving this weekend. It’s definitely drawing national attention.”
Dan Wormsley of Crazy Inkz Tattoos in Tennille couldn’t make the trip but wanted to be part of it. He is sponsoring Popp and supporting the cost of his ride.
“This will be the longest ride I’ve ever ridden and with a group like this,” Popp said. “I’m looking forward to the ride. Being a veteran and a patriotic American, I feel this is necessary and something I need to do in my lifetime. I’m excited.”
For more information about the ride or to participate, call Popp at 478--234-5409, or visit the 2 Million Bikers to DC GA Facebook page.
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