CT United 9/11 Tribute Ride Rolls Through Town
“A woman called me — she lives across from Ferris Creamery, and she said she had never missed a ride,” said CT United Ride director Frederick Garrity, Jr. He said the woman had checked to be sure she was outside on time Sunday, September 8, to see the lengthy procession of motorcycles rumble past.
“She was there again, she had two flags,” he said of the woman who “lives across from the ice cream shop.”
The 2019 CT United Ride traveled with full police escort through 11 cities and towns of Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Georgetown, Redding, Bethel, Newtown, Monroe, Trumbull, Fairfield, and ending in Bridgeport at Seaside Park.
Mr Garrity and the Fairfield County Labor Council had organized a motorcycle ride fundraiser for the initial victims of 9/11, which was held on September 30, 2001. That first ride drew 500 participants and has grown each year.
As stated on ctunitedride.com, “With the success and support of the first fundraising event, it was decided to continue the CT United Ride as a tribute event each year honoring the memories and continuing support of all affected.
“The monies raised the first year… went to three 9/11 victim relief funds in [New York City]: The Police Officers fund, The Fire Fighters fund, and The United Way’s fund. As the CT United Ride remains a tribute to 9/11 (not a fundraiser), all monies that are raised from the second year on go to the family emergency relief funds for Connecticut Police Officers, Connecticut Fire Fighters, and two local United Ways.”
“Close to” 2,000 bikes rode this year, Mr Garrity said. Every rider and passenger arrived safely in Bridgeport, without reported accidents, he added.
After starting the ride in Norwalk, the parade of motorcyclists passed through Newtown shortly after noon and traveled along Route 302 to Route 25, passing into Monroe. For nearly 40 minutes, riders passed by hundreds of residents in town who stepped outside to watch them pass.
“All the riders were impressed with Newtown and the number of people supporting the ride, waving flags,” Mr Garrity said. He has “hard plans” to continue the event annually.
The state’s largest 9/11 tribute is also the largest fundraiser for fire and law enforcement members in the state. “For those that lost their lives, for those that gave their lives, and for those that continue to put their lives on the line each day — that’s why we ride” Mr Garrity said.