As the ride to New York grows, the West Pierce firefighters see displays of patriotism everywhere from their brothers. They also visit the first of four infamous sites of the Sept. 11 attacks.

(Editor's note: , four firefighters from West Pierce Fire & Rescue are riding their motorcycles cross-country to New York for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. They are providing daily dispatches to Patch)

We met this morning at the Harley shop for the ride briefing and another blessing from a local priest

We are now over 100 bikes strong!

We were escorted by an Ottowa IL engine company, a ladder company also attended the morning get together. City police blocked traffic for the ride which wound through the city to a local memorial wall that has all the names of the men and women from our military services who've given their lives since 9/11 to protect our freedom.

Travis jumped out of line to film the departure from the memorial wall, hope the video plays for you.

Last night, five West Pierce firefighters who are driving to New York to acquire an artifact from the Twin Towers met us for a short visit. Greg Reimann, Ken VonStein, Chad Walker, Tyler Newton and Jason Carr, all A-shifters, cancelled their flight plans to pick up the 600-pound piece of steel and bring it back to West Pierce to be displayed in a place of honor as yet to be decided. Thanks guys.

Our day started out sunny and blue but changed to driving rain and wind, remnants of the hurricane that started in the Gulf several day ago. NOT FUN. No visibility, relentless semi-trucks and lots of traffic. Everyone made it without incident. Some new riders got a ton of on-the-job experience. 

Along the way through the cities we drove through, many of the overpasses had on-duty fire department crew waving us on. A couple overpasses had extended crossed ladders from two companies. One group had climbed their ladders and were spaced out along its length cheering us on. Awesome sight! If I can locate pictures I'll put them on the blog.

We arrived in Akron, OH and lost another hour somewhere.

Went to a local, sponsored get-together for dinner and back to rooms to dry soaked clothes.

Off to Gettysburg tomorrow with a stop in Shanksville, PA to visit the Flight 93 memorial. That's all for now.

P.S. Did you notice the corn?

Capt. Greg Johnson, Station 21


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