By Steve Guntli
Hundreds of first responders from both the U.S. and Canada will convene in Peace Arch State Park to honor those lost on September 11.
The 14th annual 9/11 Memorial Ride will once again use the Peace Arch as its terminus. First responders from Canada and the U.S. will travel in a motorcade of rescue vehicles and motorcycles to meet beneath the arch at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 11 for a memorial service.
This year, five first responders who were on duty in New York that fateful day in 2001 will join the assembly to speak of their experiences. New York emergency medical services captain Eric Fay, paramedic Robert Abril, NYPD sergeant Antonio Ortiz and NYPD officers Efrain Morales and Robin Crucey are all scheduled to speak at the event. The speakers will receive VIP treatment, including a stay at the Swinomish Casino and Lodge and a volunteer motorcade of first responders to escort them to the Peace Arch. Along the way, first responders will be posted on overpasses, ready to offer salutes and other signs of their appreciation.
A Canadian motorcade will head south from the River Rock Casino and Resort in Richmond, B.C.
The one-hour presentation will be followed by a barbeque, sponsored by Clearline Accounting Services and Save On Foods. All proceeds from the by-donation barbeque will go toward Behind the Badge, which benefits families of Washington state law enforcement officers when they are killed or injured in the line of duty. Proceeds will also benefit Honour House Society, which provides temporary housing for Canadian law enforcement or military members who need to recuperate from medical procedures.
The 9/11 Memorial Ride is for invited guests only, but the service in Peace Arch State Park is open to the public. For more information, visit 911memorialride.com.