Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept 11 - Somerset PA Flight 93 Memorials

We headed toward the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel after 7:30 a.m. - Mike had told us that we needed to be there by 8 a.m. because they would be providing a breakfast.

Well, when we arrived they weren't even set up. We milled around for a while. I helped make the coffee and managed to break a carafe!

There was a very nice service in the chapel. Following the service many riders left to go to the crash site memorial (contrary to what we were told by Mike, there WAS a memorial again this year). Some riders left to go into town to get something to eat.

We stayed long enough to eat at the chapel area and then left to go the crash site. We had been told you had to park as far away as we did last year - not so if you have a trusty GPS - Larry routed us to motorcycle parking directly in front of the memorial. We had missed the official service, but there were still many people there. Larry spoke to two young men who worked at the coffee shop where Nicole Miller purchased her coffee, hence the photo of the men with the photo of Nicole on their shirts. The photo in the center with the lei is an angel memorial with Nicole's name on it.

While there were fewer people at the crash site, there was still a nice turn out and more continued to arrive. Of course, it rained. At least there were no protesters this year. There seemed to be more flags and participation by locals in the area around the crash site than last year.

There was supposed to be a ride in the afternoon, but with all the rain we just headed for the motel.

We are meeting whoever is left in Somerset for dinner.

We have had a VERY enjoyable ride across the United States. Nice group of people to ride with. It really is too bad Gary Covert's trike had issues and he could not ride all the way on it.

This may be the last year Gary organizes the ride, but perhaps there will be a way to make it happen in a slightly different format. The vision Gary started with should be carried on - but not at the expense of one individual.

There is Torches Across America Troy, Inc. They will be raising funds to build a memorial in Troy, Illinois.

The people in Cambridge, Ohio are dedicated to the cause - but any rides need to be on some other day than Friday - interferes with football!

Seems to me, since this is about the First Call Responders THEY could become part of the process in a more direct way.

Perhaps the ride can be a relay with banners containing the important information Gary has been carrying around for the last 6 years. Perhaps there can be a corporate sponsor to assist. Maybe a hotel or motel chain? Don't believe any connection to a particular motorcycle manufacturer is the way to go because some people are so narrow they would not participate if it wasn't the manufacturer of the bike they ride. Definitely should not be connected with CMA if the current spokesperson is involved.

So, to Clark and Kathy, Frank and Lil, Joel and Nancy, Barr, Steve, Mark, Dennis, Michael, Peter and Pam, Gary and Marge, Joe and Mike - A BIG THANK YOU for helping to make the ride a pleasure!

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