(September 11) – Motorcyclists from across Pennsylvania are gearing up for this year’s 18 th annual edition
of the “Ride for the Monuments” from the State Capitol in Harrisburg to Gettysburg on Sept. 22.
The ride, organized by the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE), benefits the Pennsylvania
Gettysburg Monuments Trust and the operation of the Historic Daniel Lady Farm in Gettysburg, restored and maintained by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association.
State Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny) created the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments project in 1997
to fund essential repairs and cleaning of the more than 140 monuments and markers that memorialize the actions and bravery of the thousands of Pennsylvania troops that fought at the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg.
The Project has now evolved into the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Trust to ensure perpetual
maintenance of the monuments.
The GBPA was an early support of the Monuments Project.
Registration for the Sept. 22 ride will begin at 11 a.m. at Soldiers’ Grove outside the East Wing of the State
Capitol. A welcoming ceremony will be held at 12:15 p.m.
Boy Scout Venture Crew 1861, sponsored by the GBPA and portraying the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment
Volunteer Fife and Drum Corps, will open the program by playing the Star Spangled Banner.
Last year more than 420 motorcyclists and riders took part.
Readshaw said he loves the continuing enthusiasm the event generates, rain or shine.
"It’s heartening to see so many riders turn out to show their support for maintaining the Pennsylvania
monuments that honor those who fought – and in some cases died – at the Battle of Gettysburg,” Readshaw said.
“Healthy participation at events like these shows that we haven’t forgotten the significance of Gettysburg and the great sacrifices that were made in this historic battle that is considered the turning point in the Civil War.”
Readshaw noted that most were erected by veterans of the battle, with the assistance of allocations
approved by the state General Assembly.
The “Ride Marshalls” this year is a special group of ladies in white vests, led by former state Rep. Teresa
Forcier (R-Crawford), known as the "Motor Maids." Founded in 1940 as motorcycling’s first women’s riding organization, The Motor Maids are women bikers from the United States and Canada who share a love of riding, seeking to promote a positive image of the sport and safe riding skills.
State Reps. Bryan Barbin (D-Cambria/Somerset), Mark Keller (R-Perry/Cumberland) and Dan Moul (R-
Adams) are expected to participate along with the Harrisburg's Zembo Shrine Mounted Patrol and Henley's Slingshot and Indian Motorcycle dealer.
The Mason-Dixon God Bless America Motorcycle Color Guard will lead the riders to Gettysburg.
The event is open to all interested riders and is held rain or shine.
"If you can't make it to Harrisburg for the ride, come to Battlefield Harley-Davidson in Gettysburg, register and join us for lunch and a short program," Readshaw said.
More information about the event can be had by calling Readshaw's office in Harrisburg at 717-783-0411
or by visiting the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education PA website at www.abatepa.org.