LYCOMING COUNTY, Pa. -- With the roar of engines, hundreds of motorcycle riders thundered away from the Clinton Township Fire House and onto several communities for the annual 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride.
In their hearts, they carried those lost on September 11, 2001, on this 18th anniversary of the terror attacks.
“It was an attack on our country. We lost 3,000 people that day. We can never forget,” said Mark Woodhead from Pensdale.
“It's to honor the people who lost their lives, all the first responders, the police officers, the firemen,” said Deb Reed from Montoursville.
This is the 18th annual ride here in Lycoming County which covered 42 miles, but it's actually the 19th ride as the first ride was done four days after the attacks.
“We've been riding ever since it started. We're law enforcement, so we have a stake at it so to speak,” said Lanny Reed from Montoursville.
“It's very important, being a firefighter for over 30 years, it shows the respect from our loses that day, and it's great the community supports us this many years into it,” said Gary Harmon from Pensdale.
This year's ride is also dedicated to a priest from Williamsport, Father John Manno, who passed away in May. He was a founder of this event. His Harley, Fred, now rides on for him.
Father Manno was the chaplain for the Williamsport Bureau of Fire for years. After 9/11, he went to New York City where he lent his chaplain services to firefighters there.
“I think the biggest thing is that he saw the sacrifice of so many people, not only here in our local area but also but also over in New York,” said Fr. Brian Van Fossen, a friend of Manno’s.
In Montoursville, supporters of the riders greeted them with patriotic pride.
“We have to support those who fought for us, fight for us, and try to fight terrorism,” said Michele Williamson.
“Actually I have goosebumps now,” said Kristin Carey. “I love hollering, getting in the spirit, I love seeing everybody come out, rain or shine.”
Riders say they look forward to seeing those smiling faces every year as they go by.
“When you ride the route, the amount of people that come out and watch, it just shows there is unity in this country,” said Brian Ammon from Hillsgrove.
United we stand.