(Update: Adding video)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Friday, nearly 100 motorcyclists will leave Bend's Northside Bar and Grill to begin a statewide ride on U.S. Highway 26, recently designated a memorial highway to honor Oregon's prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The 471-mile Oregon stretch of U.S. Highway 26, from near Seaside to Ontario, was named the POW/ MIA Memorial Highway by the Oregon Legislature last year. It was the most recent of eight such highway designations to honor and remember Oregon veterans.
The High Desert Eagles Veterans Motorcycle Association helped raise funds to have signs placed along Highway 26 noting the POW/MIA designation.
"We're riding because they are never to be forgotten," Larry Moyer, chapter president of the High Desert Eagles, said Monday. "What they did for this country, they sacrificed everything, some in full torture -- and some never came home."
Moyer told NewsChannel 21 there are 34 POWs and MIAs from Oregon that served during the Vietnam War.
"Prisoners of war and (those) missing in action gave up everything," he said. "Their families gave up everything. They lost a loved one, and I can't even imagine the hurt they have."
"I have a family member who was a prisoner of war, but came back," Moyer continued. "He had PTSD so bad, he took his life -- 22 military veterans do that, every single day."
At each stop, there will be a sign that the riders will sign their names on, and a sign ceremony to commemorate the event.
The signs are scheduled to officially be placed along Highway 26 on Sept 18., on National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
This weekend, the motorcycle riders will leave from Bend to travel to Seaside, and from Seaside to Prineville. The riders will continue on and make stops in Madras, John Day and Ontario.
So far, there are about 80 registered riders, but the motorcycle ride is welcome to anyone who would like to participate.
You can join the ride by visiting to purchase a ticket here:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hwy-26-pow-mia-run-tickets-102701406672.
All funds are going toward the signs that will be placed along Highway 26, in addition to other events to honor veterans.