Wednesday evening the Fort Worth HOG chapter gathered for their 3rd 911 Memorial ride. After a presentation of a banner that had the names of all of the victims of this tragic event, Kim read the timeline of the attacks to recall that horrible day. This set the stage for the beginning of our ride.
Our purpose was to visit a couple fire departments and thank the fire fighters for their sacrifice and service to the community. So often the only time these men and woman are remembered are when they show up to our rescue or lose their lives in service. They put their lives on the line daily for people they have never met. Every emergency they respond to has the capability of ending their lives. The level of stress due to the intensity of their job alone is far more than most people experience in their lives. The 911 terrorist attack highlighted their service and the horrible truth of the dangerous situations they engage in daily. History is full of stories in regards to individuals heroic deeds on that awful day.
We left the dealership at 1830 and visited a station just around the corner. The firefighters came out when they saw our 22 bikes roll up to greet us with hugs and handshakes. We presented them with gifts and personally thanked each one of them for their service. It was a very emotionally moving time for everyone involved. Everyone wanted pictures so they pulled one of the fire trucks out of the station to use as a backdrop.
Next we headed to a fire station in White Settlement, TX for our second stop. The sun was already beginning to set and was beautiful. When we arrived we had to park the bikes across the street in a church parking lot as there was no room for all of us closer to the fire station. We walked to the station across the street but no one came out. A couple of our group began knocking on the door and even went into the garage to knock on the interior door. We saw the blinds move up a bit and heard one of the fire fighters tell another to get the phone. This was the first time we had visited this station on a 911 run. You have to imagine 30+ bikers geared out banging on their doors from out of no where and on 9/11. There was a bit of tension and concern on their part at this sudden situation.
Finally after loudly telling them through the door why we were there they came out. There was a lot of laughs over this. It was a lot of fun though and they were very appreciative of our purpose. Again with a lot of hugs and handshakes we took pictures and gave them gifts before leaving.
The evening was short due to day light time constraints but the stations we visited were grateful. All of the participants on the ride were also grateful for the opportunity that the Fort Worth HOG chapter provided to get together and visit these stations. The evening was personally fulfilling and rewarding for me to be able to take time and thank these heroes for their service.