Lost in news reporters' frantic scramble to get the scoop first, we were filled with rumors that the White House was attacked, we were being attacked on both coasts, Air Force One was shot down and many more that proved to be incorrect mere moments after they aired. It was a fearful day for those of us that weren't actually experiencing the horror first hand in lower Manhattan.
Of the nearly 3000 victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001, Connecticut was home to 152 of those innocent people. To honor those that lost their lives that tragic day, my fiancee and I decided to hop on our Harley-Davidson and join the CT United Ride, Connecticut's largest 9/11 tribute motorcycle ride. We arrived that morning at 10AM to register and get placement in the parade. There were a few words spoken over the loud speaker by several different people, bag pipes played Amazing Grace, a broadway singer belted out the National Anthem and we all did our best to hold back the tears. The energy was so intense that morning, everybody just couldn't wait to get on their bikes and ride. The rumble of tailpipes of over 3000 motorcycles were so powerful that they shook your soul. It was intense.
As we rolled out onto the street, we were cheered on by spectators waving flags and making peace signs with two fingers. This went on the entire 60 miles of the parade. Each fire department that we passed in each town had made a gateway with their ladder trucks, that bridged a massive American flag. With sirens blaring, people cheering, motorcycles rumbling and horns honking you couldn't help the tears welling up in your eyes. This isn't "a good thing" considering we were (a) on motorcycles, (b) only feet away from other motorcycles and (c) only feet away from other riders that had tears in their eyes as well. Coulda been messy. The sense of unity, togetherness and patriotism was all very apparent as we passed families huddled together on the front lawns, some waving flags, some holding signs heralding "God Bless America." The sense of patriotism was palpable, evidenced by the thousands of people came out to watch us ride by. A few people even came up close to the side of the road to give "high-fives" to the motorcycle riders.
I could write a book on just the emotions that overwhelmed us all that day but I know you get it. So, I'll start to wrap this up.
I"ll end by saying that not only were the spectators amazed at what they were seeing, WE were amazed at what we were seeing. Every rider we talked to said that they'd never seen anything like it. If you do the math; say the average motorcycle length that attended was 7 feet long, if you lined them up tire to tire, the length of the motorcade would be roughly 4 miles long. We were told to try to keep 10 - 20 feet in between each bike. That would mean the parade could have possibly stretched to 15 miles in length. That's just crazy. It was a sight to see. If you missed it or if you would like to ride in it next year, check out the CT United Ride. They also have a Facebook page.
These are some of the pictures we took before and after the ride. The map of the route we took as well as the directions are at the end of this post.
|Our 2007 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide|
- Motorcade from Norden Park to Rte 136
- to Rte 33 through Westport
- to Wilton Rte 7
- to Rte 107 Georgetown
- to Rte 58N Redding
- to Rte 302 Bethel
- to Newtown Rte 25 through Monroe
- to Main Street Trumbull
- to Old Town Rd
- to Park Ave in Fairfield
- continuing into Bridgeport and straight down to Seaside Park with Bpt's Fire Rescue 5 leading the Motorcade.