‘Brotherhood Ride 2021’ makes stop in Murrells Inlet during 1,700 mile journey to NYC for 9/11 anniversary
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) – First responders who are making the trek from Florida to New York City made a stop in Murrells Inlet on Monday night.
The Murrells Inlet Elks Lodge 2797 along Highway 17 Business hosted the “Brotherhood Ride 2021″ for the night so they could get some rest during their 1,700-mile journey.
They were met by a crowd of people waving the American flag, along with Congressman Tom Rice, who welcomed the group to the Grand Strand.
The Brotherhood Ride 2021 consists of 37 bicycle riders, all firemen, police officers and other first responders. The riders are pedaling from Naples, Florida to New York City in 22 days. They will average 80 to 100 miles a day, with their trip ending at Ground Zero on Sept. 11.
One of the riders, Daniel Jackson, said he hasn’t ridden a bike since he was about 13 years old, but said he’s taking on the challenge for his fallen brothers and sisters.
“You’re going to have the bumps and bruises and the pains and the strains, and you just take your brother and sister next to you. They keep pedaling. You keep pedaling and that’s it,” Jackson said.
The cyclists get stickers for every ride they complete. For Jackson, he will be getting his first sticker, but for Jeff Morse who found the Brotherhood Ride, he’s almost running out of space on his bike for more stickers. But despite being a veteran of the rides, Jackson said each one is different from the last.
“We honored 26 first responders who died last year in the state of Florida, so everyone is different because we honor different guys,” Morse explained.
The 2021 ride will be dedicated to Florida’s fallen heroes who died in the line of duty in 2020 while protecting their communities. They will also be riding for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and honor the first responders who died in the terror attack and also those who died from 9/11 related illnesses.
Through the Brotherhood Rides, the group has contributed over $500,000 to families of first responders.
“You hear ‘never forget’ all the time, and the reality is a lot of people do forget, so to be able to keep that going and keep that flame lit, that’s a big deal,” said Jackson.
The end of the ride in New York City will also mark the anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. Jackson said he’s not sure what that moment has in store for him.
“I’m just going to take it all in. I can’t fathom what it’s going to be like,” Jackson said.
Meanwhile, he only has about 650 miles left before he finds out what that moment will feel like on September 11th.
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