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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • St. James gives patriotic riders 'small-town' welcome

  • More than 300 motorcycle riders rumbled through St. James on Sunday afternoon, while numerous locals gathered along Jefferson Street and on the grounds of the Veterans Home to greet them
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  • More than 300 motorcycle riders rumbled through St. James on Sunday afternoon, while numerous locals gathered along Jefferson Street and on the grounds of the Veterans Home to greet them.
    The eighth annual American Legion Legacy Run, which began Sunday morning in Indianapolis, is a 1,500-mile ride that is scheduled over a five-day period.
    The purpose of the ride is to raise money for scholarships for the children of military men and women who have fallen in the line of duty.
    While this is an annual event, St. James isn't always a scheduled stop.
    "They usually end up at the city where the national convention will be held," said Robert Hawn, commander of both the St. James Post 607 and District 16 of the American Legion.
    Every year, the Legacy Riders map put a route for their intended destination. Last year, they rode from Niagara Falls to Indianapolis. This year, they're riding from Indianapolis to Houston.
    This year, St. James was their first stop, and they were greeted with what Hawn called a friendly "small-town" welcome.
    "We're honored," Hawn said. "But what makes St. James better than any other town? I think it's the small town atmosphere, which is a change from the bigger cities.
    "This is a pretty big event, considering they do it annually. It can be overwhelming, but we've banded together with support from communities within Phelps County."
    After a barbecue and some entertainment, riders were able to spend the rest of the afternoon visiting with residents at the Veterans Home, many of whom are post members.
    National Commander James E. Koutz also made the trip to St. James with the riders, and this is the second time in a year that Koutz has visited St. James.
    Many of the riders spent the night in Rolla, before hitting the road again on Monday morning.
    The Legacy Run will end in Houston, Texas, on the afternoon of Aug. 22.
    A special reception at American Legion Post 554, in League City, Texas, just south of Houston.

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