NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to lower Manhattan by motorcycle Wednesday morning, leading a motorcade of firefighters and police officers on a tribute ride to ground zero.
Just before dawn, firefighters and police officers started lining up their motorcycles for the special ride down the West Side Highway.
“Any ride to honor the victims of 9/11 is a special ride,” said Rich Snyder of the FDNY Fire Riders. “Today is a little more special with the governor being here.”
Cuomo joined the riders outside Fire Rescue Company 1 which lost 11 firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001. He then led a motorcade on a tribute ride that recreated the route those firefighters took that fateful morning.
“Stepping in the shoes of the brothers we lost and taking the route that they took kind of makes the hairs stand up on your arms,” said Lt. Tony Tarabocchia of FDNY Rescue 1.
Joined by singer and New York native Billy Joel, Cuomo rode from West 43rd Street, down the West Side Highway to the intersection of Barclay and Washington streets where the group stopped for a memorial and prayer service.
“They proved to the world that strength and courage will always conquer weakness and cowardice,” Cuomo said. “That duty and honor and service are paramount, they are words to live by and yes, they are words to die by.”
Joel lost friends in the attacks and said he wanted to be a part of the ride as a way to honor all of the victims and first responders who were killed in the attacks.
“That was probably the worst thing that ever happened in my own life, it’s still an open wound and it hasn’t closed. I don’t know if it ever will,” Joel said. “I’ve always tried to be there when New York needed us, whether it was raising money or raising awareness. That’s what today was.”
Twelve years later, the fire company and the families of the fallen treat this as a chance to reunite and remember the day when all gave some, but some gave all.
Wednesday’s ride was organized by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and the FDNY Motorcycle Club.
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