(Sept. 6, 2013) The local Red Knights Motorcycle Club, Maryland Chapter 3, will host its ninth annual 9/11 Parade of Brothers Memorial Ride on Wednesday, Sept. 11, to remember those who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
“We’re all familiar with 9/11 and the big thing in this country is ‘Never forget.’ We just thought we would try to memorialize it,” said local Red Knights Treasurer and Senior Road Captain John Tartufo, who helps organize the event each year.
The local Red Knights chapter of about 100 members will join other motorcyclists at the Boardwalk at 27th Street for registration starting at 9 a.m. At 11 a.m., the group gathers on the Boardwalk, where motorcycles decked in American flags and other patriotic trimmings parade down the boards starting at 11:30 a.m.
The ride ends at the Ocean City Firefighter’s Memorial on North Division Street and the Boardwalk at noon, where a memorial service takes place. Local Red Knights President Ed Kukta will deliver a short speech, as will several other officials, and there will be a laying of wreathes and honor guard ceremony, lasting about 40 minutes.
“It just draws such a crowd. It’s unbelievable, and it’s not unbelievable,” Tartufo said of the service.
After the service, motorcyclists will take an escorted ride out of Ocean City on Route 50 to the Moose Lodge in Roxana, Del. for lunch and fellowship.
Registration for the memorial ride is $10 per bike and includes the ride down the Boardwalk, the escorted ride to lunch at the Moose Lodge and a ride pin. The proceeds will benefit the Delaware Burn Camp at Camp Barnes in Frankford, a weeklong camp for children who have been seriously burned that provides therapy and helps children adjust to their injuries.
“For the kids that live in Delaware, it’s free,” Tartufo said, but “there is no burn camp on this side of the Chesapeake Bay bridge, so for any of the kids in Maryland that have been so unfortunately as to have been burned, they have to have someone sponsor them, and that’s what we do.”
Last year, the local Red Knights chapter helped remodel a bathroom and install electricity at the camp.
The 2012 memorial ride saw around 160 participants, Tartufo said.
“This year, it boarders on Bike Fest and Bike Week, so we could expect anywhere from 300 and upward,” he said. “It all depends on the weather and how many people show up.”
The ride is open to all motorcyclists, not just members of the Red Knights, and takes place rain or shine.
Since the group started the memorial ride in Ocean City, the response has been “nothing but positive,” Tartufo said. “When the American public sees something like this, they get behind it.”
To learn more about the Red Knights Maryland Chapter 3 9/11 Parade of Brothers Memorial Ride, visit http://redknightsmd3.com or call Tartufo at 443-614-3425.