SHANKSVILLE (KDKA) – Hundreds of motorcycles descended on the Pentagon today en route to Ground Zero in New York. The riders are paying homage to the victims of 9/11.
Their first stop was the Flight 93 Memorial site. Woody West rode in from Wisconsin.
“We’ve got to remember. We have to know that they did what they stand for, and keep fighting for this country. We can’t let anybody take that from us,” West said.
More than 200 bikers from the Chicago area made a lunch stop in Somerset, before taking that final road to Shanksville.
Chicago Fire Lieutenant Tom Maloney was among many firefighters who helped out at the site of the Twin Towers immediately after Sept. 11, 2001. A year later, he started this ride.
They met up with a team of 40 from South Carolina.
“We all share the same road. We may ride different bikes, but it’s all right here. It’s in our heart, we’re not going to forget,” Maloney said.
South Carolina rider Heath Bartlett flew Blackhawk helicopters in Kosovo. He said this ride makes a statement.
“Take what the terrorists tried to do to us and really flip the tables, and let them know the spirit of American resolve. That’s really kind of the focus and purpose of this journey,” Bartlett said.
His friend Jim Campbell flies ambulance helicopters in Seattle.
“Heath and I flew together in Kosovo,” Campbell said. “When you live a life of service, that just means something to you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s military, or fire department, or police or first responders. It’s just, it’s like my people.”
They gather at a site where a memorial will be built to honor 40 passengers who gave their lives to save others.
“It’s an awesome feeling to stand here and reflect on the lives that were lost and also the lives that were saved by going down in this field,” he said.
A field of heroes.