MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered in the snow and cold in Mankato Saturday to honor 38 Dakota Indians who were hanged at the end of the Dakota War of 1862.

The Free Press of Mankato reports some rode for hundreds of miles on horseback, while others spent the night running from Fort Snelling in the Twin Cities. Continuing a long tradition, the gathering at Reconciliation Park marked the 153rd anniversary of the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

Ride coordinator Darwin Strong says Saturday marked the 12th year of the memorial ride from Crow Creek, South Dakota to Mankato, but Dakota have run from Fort Snelling to the execution site for decades.

During the ceremony, Native American leaders spoke about the importance of remembering the dead —and of forgiveness.

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