Annual Ride to Remember honors 9/11 victims

Published 4:23 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — Hundreds of motorcyclists from Michiana and beyond kicked up their kickstands for a cause Sunday afternoon.

The Berrien County Riders hosted its 22nd annual Ride to Remember Sunday morning. The Ride to Remember is held each year to remember the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and raises money for the local American Red Cross chapter.

The ride began at the Berrien County Courthouse on Sunday and took riders into Dowagiac and back before ending at the DANK, 2651 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor. The Dowagiac Fire Department’s Truck 240 and True’s Towing and Recovery’s Heavy Rotator flew “Old Glory” over Front Street as the motorcycles rolled into town.

“The experience is humbling,” said DFD Chief Anthony Stewart. “The motto is ‘Never Forget,’ this ride is a rolling memorial to those who lost their lives that terrible day and to the fallen in the war on terror. We look forward to displaying a 13′ x 20′ American flag over the roadway every year with assistance from Trues Towing and Recovery. This is a small-town USA and our First Responders could not be more honored to display our flag to honor the fallen and show our support to the several hundred riders involved.”

According to Stewart, the police and fire department has been involved in assisting with the 9/11 Ride to Remember since the inaugural event, which Stewart believes took place just two weeks after the attacks in 2001. 

“We will continue to assist with this event every year as a small way of showing support for the 9/11 Ride to Remember and as a thank you for organizing this way to remember the fallen,” Stewart said.

For Stewart, the Ride to Remember represents a “rollercoaster” of emotions.

“When we remember the 2,977 victims lost on that somber September morning it is difficult to find a reason to smile and then 286 Bikes with 380 people from all different backgrounds ride through town showing support for this event.”