CLEVELAND (WJW) – The September 11 terrorist attacks on Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the Pentagon outside of Washington, D.C. and the World Trade Center Towers in New York City left a mark on our nation’s collective soul.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of that terrible day. On Thursday, a group of bikers left Cleveland to pay tribute to the lives lost.
The Cleveland group is one of many groups from around the country who will visit Shanksville, the Pentagon and the World Trade Center site for America’s 911 Ride.
Summit County Sheriff Kandy Fatheree, along with other first responders, signed more than 50 flags that will be flown over the three sites.
It’s an effort to carry on that memory of a very dark day and to bring to light the connection that everyone in the country has to those three places of honor.
“On the day of those attacks, there were citizens from 78 different countries that were murdered. Not just Americans, not just firefighters, not just police officers and medics, but there was traffic control personnel that were injured and citizens from all walks of life and it’s imperative that America and the world never forget.” Ride Organizer Charlie McGeever said.
Even at the 20-year mark, the memories are still fresh. These flags keep that in perspective as they let the folks who experienced tragedy and loss that day know that the country is still with them.
“More than 59,000 families were impacted by this tragedy and just to be a part of this and to thank all those people–the first responders, the servicemen and women and all those Red Cross men and women who responded to this,” Northeast Ohio Red Cross Executive Michael Parks said.
“I don’t want anyone to forget the sacrifices that were made by our first responders, the people who actually worked in those buildings, by the people who were on the planes. You never want anybody to forget that.” RTA Police Chief Deirdre Jones said.
The group will take the flags to Shanksville first where each one will be raised over the memorial and lowered. They will do the same at the Pentagon and at the World Trade Center site, collecting more signatures on the way.
This isn’t the first 9/11 ride and 20 years from now, the bikes will continue to roar as folks continue to remember.
“We’re doing it for all the right reasons: to honor our fallen brothers and sisters,” McGeever said.
Fifty of the flags will be sent to the governors of every state with the hope that they will fly those flags over their state capitols on 9/11.
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