In 1919, the American Legion fraternal organization was formed as veterans of World War I returned from battlefields in Europe. To mark its 100th anniversary, American Legion Riders are making a historic border-to-border ride along U.S. 281, also known as The American Legion Highway, and meeting in the middle at Great Bend on Sunday, Aug. 4. They expect to meet at the Great Bend American Legion Post 180 at 1011 Kansas Ave. between 1:30 and 2 p.m., according to Post 180 Commander Ralph Sunley.
“Thirty to 40 riders are starting at the Texas-Mexico border, and 30-40 riders are starting at the Canadian-North Dakota border,” he said. American Legion dignitaries, including a commander from the Sons of the American Legion, are expected to attend the event.
The route will cover a total of 1,875 miles, and there are 60 scheduled stops along the way. Riders will stop briefly in Russell and Hoisington, Sunley said.
Law enforcement along the route are escorting the riders from county to county. Barton County reserve deputies will escort the riders, according to Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir.
The public is invited to attend the event and help the American Legion and American Legion Riders mark this historic milestone.
After they have an opportunity to rest and refresh, the riders will begin the long ride back to their respective borders, Sunley said.