This year marks the 10th anniversary of the nation’s tragedy and the ninth year of the Remember 9/11 Motorcycle Ride. The official ride will wind its way: from Cooks Corner in Trabuco Canyon, Orange County; west to the coast; north up Pacific Coast Highway passing through southern California beach communities; and ending at McKenna’s on the Bay at Alamitos Bay Landing in Long Beach. Riders will be met with cheering crowds, families and friends, first responders and patriotic Americans along the route.
Those interested may register as official riders at remember911ride.com. Information about making personal donations to the Remember 911 Memorial Fund, and details about the day’s free tribute concert, military flyover and fireworks celebration as they unfold can also be found on the site.
It all started 10 years ago when Long Beach fireman Gary Biggerstaff, who, upon returning from Ground Zero, started a west-coast tradition by building a memorial of 343 crosses with the names of each of the fallen rescuers in his front yard for the public to honor those who perished on 9/11. In the years following, he and a few friends added a solemn motorcycle “Ride of Honor” which has grown to include thousands of volunteers and more than 1,700 riders from all over southern California passing through three counties along the way.
This year, the encore event will mark the first year the ride will establish a fund that will go to firefighters and selected charities in Long Beach and Orange and Los Angeles counties, to honor the lives of the brave men and women who serve as first responders.
“Honoring these fallen heroes and their families has always been my mission,” Biggerstaff said. “This year, we hope to keep the memory of 9/11 fresh in the hearts and minds of every American with this tribute and by establishing a memorial fund that will bring to mind the memory of America’s heroes each year going forward.”
ACCORD Community First is a nonprofit workforce development organization that provides training and support for unemployed, challenged youth and military in the nine-county southern California region. ACCORD has become the organizing arm of Biggerstaff’s 10-year project to honor and support America’s first responders.