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Patriotism abounds in annual Memorial Ride

By Staff | Sep 19, 2018
JADE HEASLEY/The Luminary Officers Dakota Litz (left) and Brandon Smith of the Clinton Township Fire Police get ready to give the starting signal moments before the annual 9/11 Memorial Ride took off in Montgomery.
BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Showing their patriotism, these riders gave everyone a heads up as they passed through Wolf Township on Route 220 during the 9/11 Memorial Ride last Tuesday.

MONTGOMERY – Once again thousands of riders took part in the annual 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride that gathered at the Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Co. in Montgomery. The event began with a service at 5:15 p.m. from guest speaker Sara Christensen who is a medevac pilot with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and served in Kuwait in 2015 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She and her husband rode in the Memorial Ride and asked riders “to remember to help your neighbor and see one another as fellow Americans.”

The Memorial Ride is dedicated to those who lost their lives during the terroristic attacks that took place that day and the brave ones who fought to save lives. This is the 17th year that motorcyclists officially rode in honor and spirit of that fateful day, and it is the support of the public that keeps it going according to the founding organization, the 9/11 Memorial Coalition.

The day started at 10 a.m. for registrations and line-up. Food and vendors were present throughout the day. People lined up along the streets to watch the parade of motorcycles, many carrying flags to honor what is now known as Patriot Day. The traditional route looped through Lycoming County starting in Montgomery, then traveling over the mountain on Rt. 15 to Williamsport, through the city heading east to Montoursville, passing the Lycoming Mall then entering into Hughesville and Muncy and finally traveling back to Montgomery on Route 405. Cooperation and organization was a partnership among the many boroughs and townships along the route that lasted for about 45 minutes.

Flags were in abundance and riders gave the thumbs up to hundreds of spectators along the way.

Some riders traveled long distances to take place in the ride and many come back every year to show their patriotism. Founder and organizer “Tank” Baird estimated about 20,000 people turn out each year to watch the riders. “I don’t think there’s anything larger,” he said. “This has become the county’s 9/11 Memorial.”