Riders from two "spokes" of the Police Unity Tour set out on their trek to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Thursday morning.
The bikers left from points in East Hanover, N.J. and Philadelphia, Pa. and plan to arrive at the memorial with the four other spokes of the tour on May 12 at approximately 2 p.m.
Groups in Portsmouth, Va., Richmond, Va., Franklin Township, N.J. and Millville, N.J. will begin the ride Friday morning.
Holly Miktarian was one of the riders who left from East Hanover.
Her husband -- Twinsburg, Ohio Police Officer Josh Miktarian -- was fatally shot during a traffic stop on July 13, 2008.
"Everyone coming together for the same cause is just really amazing," she told The Star-Ledger
Nearly 1,700 law enforcement officers and supporters are expected to participate in the Unity Tour and arrive at the memorial to cheer from thousands of family, friends and colleagues.
Each participant has raised more than $1,700 to raise awareness and financial support for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in preparation for the 300-mile ride, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
That's a close to $1.7 million expected to be raised by the group that boasted just 18 riders when it was founded in 1997.
During the Unity Tour, riders also plan to stop at various Target stores raise awareness of the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
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