Civil War Tribute to Fallen Soldiers: 'We ride for a single purpose'

EUGENE, Ore. -- A motorcycle tribute ride rolled out of the Eugene on Friday afternoon, headed for Reser Stadium in Corvallis, soon to be the heated battleground of the 2012 Civil War.

At around noon, over a hundred riders trickled into Autzen Stadium's East parking lot and began filing into two straight lines for the inaugural Civil War "Tribute to Fallen Soldiers" ride.

At the front of the line, ride-organizer Warren Williamson was proudly displaying a cluster of flags on his Harley. One was an Oregon flag, the other -- an OSU Beaver's Football banner. 

The orange flags were not an uncommon sight in the parkinglot, as numerous other motorcycles flying the colors of their favorite team (Oregon or Oregon State) playing in the 116th Civil War on Saturday.

"What's great about this is whether you're a Beaver fan or a Duck fan you can come together and we ride for a single purpose." Williamson said.

As the ride departure time approached, the final bikers paid their $20 registration fee and fell into the ranks. Proceeds from Friday's ride went to the Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Northwest fund.

While aimed at honoring all fallen soldiers, the first ride was paying a special tribute to a local family who lost their son in combat while he was on tour in Afghanistan.

"As a family we can ride for one single purpose, and that's to honor these families." Williamson said.

The riders departed for Corvallis at around 1:30, taking a two-hour route that ended at Reser Stadium. The riders were greeted with a tailgating party in the Reser west parking lot.