More than one thousand motorcyclists from across the nation passed through Leesburg today on their way to the Pentagon as part of the annual America’s 9/11 Ride.
America’s 9/11 Foundation has sponsored the police-escorted ride since 2002 to commemorate the heroes, volunteers and victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and since.
The motorcade of first responders and other riders began in Shanksville, PA, early this morning, and will conclude tomorrow at the former World Trade Center site in New York City, NY.
Many Loudoun residents have participated in the ride over the years, and even more have observed the somber commemoration. Loudoun resident Frank Holtz, a retired active and reserve U.S. Marine, is one of those who has taken the time each year to stand at attention and salute every first responder and rider. Today in Leesburg, local law enforcement, rescue, military veterans and other waved and cheered in appreciation for Holtz as well as others along the ride route. Holtz has been an active member of Loudoun’s civic community and is a director of the Loudoun Crime Commission.
Representatives of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police Department, Virginia State Police and Loudoun Fire and Rescue were among those participating in the Loudoun part of the ride today.
This ride is particularly poignant for many because sponsors have said it is the final one due to the concerns of some jurisdictions about the impact on traffic and resources generally.
Among its purposes, the ride raises money for college scholarships, and the Foundation has presented $330,000 since its inception. Last year there were 250 applicants and 15 scholarships were awarded to students across the nation.