The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t getting in the way of the 9-11 Memorial Ride, especially for a milestone year.
The 20th edition will take place on Saturday with a special pre-ride ceremony around 9 a.m. in the southwest parking lot at Tsawwassen Mills before a procession of emergency vehicles and motorcycles will proceed to the Peace Arch border.
Last year’s event featured about 100 participants, including two fire trucks, two ambulances and nine police cars.
The tribute ride was the idea of former Ladner resident Guy Morrell who was inspired to honour the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack after visiting Ground Zero in New York City a year later and being part of a memorial procession.
Typically the 9-11 Memorial Ride would conclude with a joint ceremony with American first responders at the border, however its closure and the pandemic has resulted in altered plans.
“If you recall in grade school we had obstacle courses. We would climb over things, jump over things, go under things, whatever was required. That’s what has happened with this virus. It’s an obstacle but, you know what, we are going to make (this year’s ride) work. We have a bunch of positive guys and we are going to make it work,” said Morrell who now lives on Vancouver Island.
“I think about the emergency responders that day 20 years ago and the citizens alike who came upon this. The challenges and obstacles that came to them. I’m glad that they just didn’t pack up and go home to their stations. They went and did their job. This little thing is nothing. I will never cancel going to a Remembrance Day ceremony and I will not cancel this.”
Morrell added the public is welcome to attend the pre-ride ceremony at the Mills.