The 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City’s World Trade Center continues to haunt Americans, veterans and civilians alike. 20 years later, we continue to participate in memorial events around the nation. However, with the patronage of America’s 9/11 Foundation, motorcyclists across the country come together for an annual motorcycle ride in remembrance of our fallen heroes.
During an interview with FOX News, organization representatives shared with viewers the purpose of the group’s mission. Further, they shared how the memorial event took root.
According to founder Ted Sjurseth, bikers should come together to commemorate the thousands of lives lost during the 9/11 attack. He stated the first time they participated in the motorcycle ride, they rode to the site of the World Trade Center. The first ride took place on November 11, 2001.
“We went down to the World Trade Center…and it was still smoking,” Sjurseth said.
He also said the first time they made the motorcycle ride was simply to help boost the economy in New York following 9/11.
Ted Sjurseth said the organizational commitment is to “always…honor the victims of 9/11. And we’re never going to forget them.”
Contemporarily, their goal is to keep in mind first responders that “put their lives on the line…every day they go to work.”
During the interview, the group shared that each annual motorcycle ride begins in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The starting location memorializes the crash site of the infamous domestic civilian flight. Flight 93 saw an Al-Queda terrorist takeover on 9/11. The flight quickly crashed during efforts to regain American control.
The motorcycle ride then leads on to the Pentagon and, from there, Ground Zero.
Complications Interfered in Preparations for the 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride
Memorial events like these are important and necessary for American morale. However, planning for the 9/11 memorial motorcycle ride saw complications due to the coronavirus pandemic. Members couldn’t meet for the longest time to plan the details for the most recent ride. However, the organization nevertheless pulled together a group of riders with barely two months of planning.
According to the founder, “in 10 weeks, [the organization was] able to garner 535 people from around the country.” While preparations proved difficult, America’s 9/11 Foundation is determined to never let the tradition go unpracticed.
Overall, COVID-19 posed unforeseen issues throughout planning for the annual 9/11 motorcycle ride. Although it wasn’t the only complication the bikers faced.
The most recent storm, Hurricane Henri, resulted in major flooding and heavy winds throughout the Northeastern United States. Despite the weather, Sjurseth said, “we were still able to bring a large contingent of riders and first responders into the city last night so that we will never forget 9/11.”
According to Lexy Sjurseth, “There are 2,977 reasons that we ride and the whole point is to never forget and to back our first responders.”