NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A big welcome home at the U.S.S. Intrepid for 40 members of the FDNY, NYPD, U.S. military and Australian military who rode from San Diego to New York to remember the victims of 9/11.
The Tour Of Duty ride began on Aug. 12. The 40 participants pedaled nearly 3,000 miles, dedicating each mile to a victim of the 9/11 terror attacks.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reports
“We became the biggest family. Everybody coming together and doing this ride, I just honor everybody that we lost and everyone that’s fighting still,” Naval officer Jessica Martin told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.
Linda Giammona is the executive director of the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund and rode in honor of her brother Vincent Giammona who was an FDNY Captain.
“It hurts just as much as it did eleven years ago. You can never fill that void, you try to find ways to I guess live the way your loved one would have lived,” Giammona said.
“My brother was a captain with the FDNY and he’s probably the main reason why I did this. Not probably, he was the main reason why I did it because I know if anyone was going to participate, it would have been my brother,” Giammona told Diamond.
The Tour Of Duty ride did not begin with 40 riders. Some participants joined in as the ride went on.
“I actually caught up with them in Las Vegas on a complete fluke. I was out for a morning run, looked it up on the Internet and I thought it was just amazing,” said Michael Chafin, a hotel owner from Little Rock, Arkansas.
On the way to New York, the participants made a stop at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“It breaks your heart. These guys don’t want you to feels sorry for them. We’re doing our job,” Martin told Diamond.
The ride started from the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego.