9/11 Brotherhood Ride comes to Salisbury

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
Next stop: Salisbury.
More than 50 bicyclists and staffers will pedal down South Main Street Wednesday afternoon as the 9/11 Brotherhood Ride travels the East Coast, honoring fallen firefighters and culminating in New York City on Sept. 10.
The bikers will travel through China Grove and stop at Salisbury Fire Station No. 2 just before 4 p.m. on Wednesday. According to Jim Jones, advance coordinator for the ride, the group of 55 will then travel to the Salisbury Firemen’s Memorial.
The memorial was rededicated Sept. 11, 2002, one year after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Jones said the brotherhood ride began in 2008 after the death of nine firefighters in Charleston, S.C. Since then, the ride has begun incorporating other towns. This will be their first trip to Salisbury and will honor Salisbury firefighters Justin Monroe and Vic Isler, who died fighting a fire in 2008.
“We’re going to recognize those two firefighters at the Salisbury memorial,” Jones said.
Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell and Police Chief Rory Collins will be at the event and will lead the bikers from Station No. 2 to the memorial.
Jones said the bikers take away a lot from each town’s memorial.
“They offer just as much to us as we have to them,” he said.
The bikers are traveling 1,600 miles in 22 days and will stay the night in Salisbury at the Elks Lodge, 508 S. Main St.
According to Ray Paradowski, a lodge member, the Elks will provide a place to stay for bikers as well as breakfast on Sept. 1. The bikers are expected to leave at about 8 a.m. on Thursday.
“All they’ve asked for is a place to lay their sleeping bags down,” Paradowski said.
Out of the 22 nights on the road, bikers will spend 18 of them in Elks lodges, Jim Jones said. The brotherhood is made up of bikers from Houston to Massachusetts.
“All of them are on their own time, their own money,” Jones said.
Bikers were required to pay $400 to ride, Jones said. Since 2008, the brotherhood ride has provided $68,000 in financial support to firefighters’ families.
This year’s brotherhood ride will end in New York City to honor the 411 emergency workers who died on Sept. 11, 2001.