CLEVELAND — As the country prepares to make 20 years since the Sept. 11 attacks next month, a special motorcade is making its way from Cleveland to all three national 9/11 memorials and they’re bringing with them dozens of flags.
The group, part of the 9/11 Flags Across America organization, departed last week as to not affect the events that happen on Sept. 11.
A group of first responders had signed their names 63 times to honor the hundreds of men and women who took the same oath they did and were tragically killed on 9/11.
“Remind people that we are here, we’re first responders, we will always be first responders, we’re the ones to rush in when people run away,” said a transit police officer for RTA during the signing.
These small signatures commemorate a massive memory for Brook Park Fire Chief Tom Maund, who was teaching a paramedic class on that day nearly 20 years ago.
“And then the tower collapsed, and I said do you know what you just saw there? You saw a bunch of firemen just die.. and one of the students got up and left, and I found out later it's because his brother was a new York city fireman,” Maund said.
The convoy of bikers usually rides annually to each 9/11 memorial, but this year Charlie McGeever, of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, wanted to do something different, bringing these flags with them was just that.
"The superintendent of the U.S. Park Service is issuing a certificate for each flag, so the flag, the photographs of the raising and lowering of the flags and the certificates are going to be sent to each of the governors of the 50 states in the hopes of that they’ll raise the flags on 9/11 2021 to commemorate the 20th anniversary," he said.
It’s Albert Cutcher’s eighth year on the 9/11 ride.
“The people in the towns that are aware we are coming through, they line the streets to show their support, it’s great—its America at its best,” he said.
The flags the motorcade will carry not only symbolic resilience but a symbol of gratitude for every first responder that sacrificed so much.
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