Ride of Reflection, Commemoration
Fourteen years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, Steve and I were awakened by the TV going on (that was our alarm). It was a morning news show out of New York and as I slowly came awake I remember asking myself why they were showing pictures of the World Trade Center bombing of February 1993. Too quickly we learned that the World Trade Centers were again under attack, but this time the devastation was much worse than 1993 … and not limited to New York.
Most everyone over the age of 25 can tell you where they were when they learned that our nation was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. It was a shocking time, a time when we were glued to our televisions and united in our sorrow and disbelief.
Three years ago local leaders Jean Maluccio, Steve Pierce and Dwight Sityar came together to figure a way to commemorate the occasion. Dwight is an active member of the Early Rodders car club whose members are often found at community events like the Hometown Country Fair and Montrose Movie Fest. The three decided a motorcade-type event would be a good idea.
The motorcade has grown each year. This year there were over 50 cars, motorcycles, scooters – just about anything with wheels – participating in the ride that started at the Ralphs Market parking lot and ended at JPL. I was fortunate to ride in one of the cars.
Students from our local elementary schools – both public and private – and Rosemont Middle School were out in force, standing on the curbs in front of their schools, waving the American flag, many chanting, “USA, USA!” When you consider that the children of elementary and middle school ages were not even alive in 2001, but on some level understand the gravity of the date, it was awe-inspiring.
There were students outside Crescenta Valley High School but, sadly, it was more of a tepid showing. But at La Cañada High School – wow! It looked like every student was out, waving to us as we drove by. Some were on the sidewalk, others were perched on the upper levels of the school. Even the band had assembled.
In addition to the schools, we passed the sheriff’s station and all the fire stations to show our appreciation. Many of our local businesses had folks outside waving, as were many foothill residents.
The entire ride lasted a little more than an hour, but the effect will carry me through until September 2016 when I will hopefully be asked again to remember with my fellow CV folks those who sacrificed it all on Sept. 11, 2001.