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Return of the 9/11 remembrance ride in Lycoming County

The remembrance ride included more than 6,000 riders in this part of Lycoming County.

LYCOMING COUNTY, Pa. — The roar of motorcycle engines propelled this tradition into its 20th year.

It started in 2001 - only days after the September 11th attacks with a small group of bikers.

Now, they are 6,000 strong. Setting out from the Clinton Township Fire Company near Montgomery on a 42-mile trek to honor the lives lost on September 11th, 2001.

That day propelled Cody Rhodes of Danville into the military. 

"Ever since I was little, I wanted to join, so this is very personal to me. A lot of my friends are military. I lost friends over there. My best friend, my roommate, some of the best bonds I have are military, so it's very personal to me," said Rhodes, a Pennsylvania Army National Guardsman.

Veterans of the War on Terror made up some of the riders in what organizers say is their biggest year yet for the 9/11 remembrance ride. 

Last year - the event was canceled amid Covid concerns making the 20th anniversary all the more important.

This year, many said their 42-mile reminder is crucial for the young people who were not alive in 2001. 

"I've got 12 grandkids, and they'll all know what happened, no matter if it's taught in school or not. They'll all know, they'll know what the men, or people, sacrificed, the first responders who sacrificed, to take care of our people," said retired SSG. William Erb, an Iraq war veteran.

"I wasn't born when Pearl Harbor happened and growing up. Pearl Harbor was always celebrated. It was remembered. This is America, that's what you do, I mean, you have to teach your kids," said Mark Aungst of South Williamsport.

The open road means a chance to reflect.

"That day will never be out of my memory. It's etched. It's like I lost part of me on that day," said Kim Fetterman of Ringtown.

And to make sure not all is lost - this group says they'll keep riding every September 11th.