Motorcycle rally to honor Sept. 11 victims emotional ride for spectators, bikers

Riders in Hagerstown outlet mall. Portions of the Dulles Toll Road and I-66 are expected to close. (Photo: Suzanne Kennedy)

Nearly 2,000 motorcycles rolled through Northern Virginia Friday afternoon.

America’s 911 Ride commemorates the 10th anniversary of the deadly attacks. The riders start in Pennsylvania and are ending at the Pentagon.

“This is our country and we want to keep our freedom and we need to support our policemen, firemen and those who are trying to keep us safe,” rider Rhonda Zimmerman said.

The riders stopped at the Pentagon, two thirds of the way through a remembrance ride where people from across the country joined together to form a moving tribute.

Many riders lost loved ones on 9-11, such as Kathleen Hoesly whose uncle died in the twin towers. “I've had little kids out there cheering us on. I had tears, it was so emotional,” Hoesly said.

It was an emotional experience for spectator Kathy Frazier as well. “It's magnificent. It's unbelievable. It's emotional to know that the 10-year anniversary is coming up,” she said.

Patriotic riders from all over the country are making the memorial trip, which will end tomorrow at Ground Zero in New York City. Families stood to watch the 15-mile procession. More people are expected to line the way from Virginia to New York.

“It was definitely worth it just to show our appreciation to everybody who rode those planes to the ground,” Matthew Swiger said, who got sunburned while riding a motorcycle to the Pentagon.

Herman Perez was in New York City 10 years ago when the Twin Towers were hit.
His friend--Port Authority police officer David Lemagne---was killed that day.

“I ride through the towns in Maryland and all I can see is good patriots people who really care and never forget and that is a good feeling,” said Perez.

On the sidelines supporters waved flags - they may not ride but clearly they care. While the size of this ride has grown dramatically since it began, the sentiment of these riders remains constant.

“It feels good to know that we as a country can still come together and be a unified front in something as simple as a ride to honor the victims of 9/11,” said Kym McKay, a Hagerstown resident.

On this map, you can track where the riders traveled Friday. Click on the motorcycle icons for more information about each stop.

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View America's 9/11 Ride in a larger map