Today‘s blog is a story of how my husband and I are kind of cool parents.
I am also writing in remembrance of September 11, of all those we lost, of all those who served or continue to serve, of all those who have heavy hearts, and for the brave men and women who are sick because of the tragedy…
Many people in our Nation and around the world came together today with individual thoughts or ceremonies to remember the happenings of this day, 10 years later. They came together. Tragedy does that. It makes people realize the precious gift life is. Something we tend to forget during the regular hustle and bustle of our daily lives on the proverbial hamster wheel.
My husband was a NYC police officer, now retired, who spent many days down at ground zero. Thank goodness he is not one of those who became ill because of breathing in the toxins. He was held in his precinct as a senior officer to care for those in his precinct for 3 days, and I’m sure that made a difference in his current health status. But, he was at Ground Zero. He said little about the tragedy, which is unusual for him. He always loved sharing his war stories with me. But, for this one, he was very quiet. He said that I couldn’t imagine what it was like down there, not in my wildest imagination. As a good wife and listener, I let it be. It was up to him to share and I was there to support him however I could.
10 years later. . . Jim is filling in as President for his Red Knights Motorcycle club for now and heard about a memorial ride to Ground Zero, which he shared with the guys. A once in a lifetime tribute to the events of that fateful day. We were a group of 15 bikes headed towards Manhattan and went to the meeting place which was a Harley Davidson dealership close to the 59th Street Bridge. When we arrive we joined a group of thousands — the original expectation was 2,000 motorcycles, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more. I know it was impossible for anyone to keep track of the number of people who showed up. It was just a huge group of bikers on a common mission to pay tribute. There were members of many different groups — firefighters, military, police officers, and the community of bikers. At around 11 p.m. the group assembled, two by two, with respect and courtesy, to follow each other across the bridge. I was so impressed. We then we rode down the roads lined with people on both sides cheering and clapping and yelling thank you to all who rode by. The lined up people wasn’t planned. They happened to be there. But they stopped and cheered. It was again an amazing act that brought the community together. To remember. To appreciate each other.
We rode through Times Square where, again hundreds of people clapped, waved, and shouted in appreciation. And then past Ground Zero. It was an honor and a privilege.
Around 2 a.m. we were still riding through Manhattan — there were only 3 of us, as, with all the many bikes, we did lose the rest of the group. We stopped to get eggs at a diner and then got back on our bikes to head home. That’s when it occurred to me — at 3 a.m. riding a motorcycle through Manhattan. We are cool parents! I couldn’t remember any of my friends (and certainly not myself) who had cool parents who rode a motorcycle and traveled through Manhattan in the wee hours of the morning. We actually didn’t arrive home until 4 a.m. I have to admit, I usually go to sleep by 10 p.m. But, today, I was cool. I was a cool parent.
The circumstances of the day made it happen. We wouldn’t have done a ride like this if it wasn’t to pay tribute. To honor. To remember.
God Bless America, and, although this was an occassion to come together, may we find happy times in the future to come together instead.
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