A group of bike riders, part of Law Enforcement United, are on a journey to Washington D.C., traveling more than a thousand miles for their annual trip to the national police memorial.
It’s a ride to remember police officers who have died in the line of duty.
“We ride for them. It shows their families that they`re not forgotten,” said Sgt. Jim Mamrot of Chesapeake Police Department.
By Tuesday afternoon, 35 riders had already pedaled more than a thousand miles to reach the Chesapeake Police Headquarters.
“It’s a lot easier to endure the pain knowing that it`s a small price for what others had to pay,” said Officer Jeffrey Smith of the Chesapeake Police Department.
Most of the cyclists are police officers themselves, including two from Chesapeake.
Some started in Florida then met up with others to officially start their ride in Georgia.
From there, they continued up the east coast on their way to Washington D.C.
As they make the journey, they’re carrying the memory of those they've lost with them.
"Each rider is assigned a [wrist] band, just to honor that officer, symbolizing carrying them to the police memorial wall up in Washington D.C. up at the national memorial,” said Wallace Chadwick, President of Law Enforcement United.
One of those bands is for Officer Timothy Schock. The Chesapeake police officer died in December during a training dive. He was an avid bicyclist himself.
After reaching Chesapeake, the riders held a moment of silence for him and other officers killed in the line of duty.
The riders have met with some of the families of those fallen officers in other states, including one woman whose son was killed during his first year on the job.
“She took down all our names in a book, all our addresses, so she could send us a thank you card, and it`s actually just the opposite. We`re telling her that we`re not going to forget your loved one,” said Sgt. Mamrot.
“It`s very emotional, I mean, I`ve cried many tears thinking about people`s losses,” says Officer Smith.
The bike ride is also a chance to raise money for the families left behind.
Some of it goes to C.O.P.S. - Concerns of Police Survivors. They hold a camp to help the kids and spouses of fallen officers. The rest goes to the “Officer Down Memorial Page.” You can find more information about donations here.
The 35 riders who arrived in Chesapeake Tuesday, will be continuing their ride on Thursday. At that point, they'll be joined with hundreds of other officers from around the country to complete their journey to D.C.