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Thousands ride to honor school violence victims

Posted at 1:44 AM, Sep 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-28 03:44:03-04

Thousands of motorcycle riders are riding from Columbine High School to Platte Canyon High School Sunday, to unite two Colorado communities crushed by school shootings.

Emily Keyes was killed on September 27, 2006 during a hostage crisis inside Platte Canyon High School.

Keyes was one of the last two hostages held by Duane Morrison and was shot in the back of the head by Morrison as she tried to escape. Morrison shot himself in the head and was also hit by several shots from approaching SWAT team members.

The last text message the 16-year-old victim sent her family was, "I love u guys."

Her parents, Ellen and John-Michael Keyes, formed the "I Love U Guys" Foundation to promote school safety and create a common language and standard response protocols between first responders, students and staff during campus emergencies.

MORE | Emily Keyes' family reacts to Platte Canyon shooting

The 1st Annual Emily's Parade was conceived by Bailey resident Danny Patino and was held just 10 days after the shooting.

"It was quickly determined that the proceeds from that ride would go to benefit the six heroes who were in the classroom with Emily," according to the I Love U Guys Foundation.

"Each year since, thousands of motorcycle riders make the approximately 45-mile journey from Columbine to Platte Canyon in honor of those lost to school violence," the website states.

Before the ride, colorful balloons were released into the sky.

Riders left Columbine High School at 11:30 a.m. and will proceed down U.S. Highway 285 to Bailey and on to Platte Canyon High School.

"I'm told there must be more than 2,000 bikes," said 7NEWS Reporter Kyle Horan.

If you would like to make a donation to the foundation, visit the Web site at www.iloveyouguys.org

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