TorchesAcrossAmerica

Torches Across America (TAA) is a motorcycle ride for all riders who want to show their respect to everyone who lost their lives and to the family's who lost their loved ones on that sad morning of September 11, 2001. TAA takes nine days, starting on the West Coast (Sept 3rd). Ride the whole trip, just through your state or a few miles when it comes in your area. If you can not take time to ride on the ride, everyone is welcome to be with us at any of the stops we make going across the country.

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Location: Kimberling City, Missouri

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Article in the River Valley Times about TAA written by Suzanne Schneider

River Valley Times serving Rancho Murieta, Sloughhouse & Wilton California (Sunday’s Internet Edition, November 26, 2006).

Wilton residents ride motorcycles across country



Photo courtesy to River Valley Times
Steve and Jo Burcher of Wilton prepare to embark on their cross-country trip to New York City. The couple participated in the ride as part of Torches Across America, which honors the victims and first responders of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

By Suzanne Schneider
Special to River Valley Times

Wilton residents Jo and Steve Burcher participated in a cross-country motorcycle ride from September 2 through September 11, traveling from to New York City, NY as part of Torches Across America (TAA).

The event is to make sure people do not forget what happened on September 11, 2001. Motorcyclists participate in an annual cross-country ride to show their respect for everyone who lost their lives on 9-11. They ride to continue to support the families and to honor the nation’’s first responders.

This ride is unique in that there are no donations, there is no political message and there are no requests for donations.

A core group of approximately 25 motorcyclists, including the Burcher’s, rode from the west to New York City.
Motorcyclists from each city where the group stopped for the night would join the core group, swelling the numbers to more than 100 motorcyclists. With so many motorcyclists, it was important to have a law enforcement escort into each city.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #1 provided an escort for 10 miles. Not only did they have lights and sirens, they actually shut down all traffic so that the TAA riders had the interstate to themselves.

From Albuquerque, the ride continued to Amarillo, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. From Tulsa, the group headed to Troy, Illinois.

In Troy, the streets were lined with many citizens –– most of whom were waving American flags. The parade continued to the city park where both sides of the road were lined with Cub Scouts holding flags and saluting the motorcyclists.

From Troy, the ride continued to Cambridge, Ohio and on to Leighton, Pennsylvania. On September 9, the riders headed for New Hope, New Jersey and joined 1,000 motorcycles on their September 11 Memorial Ride to New York City.

Many law enforcement officers escorted the group across the bridges, through the tunnels to Manhattan, past Ground Zero, and on to Brooklyn, NY. At Brooklyn, the New Jersey group joined 3,000 other motorcyclists for the September 11 tribute.

The final day of the cross-country ride was in Somerset County, PA to attend the September 11 tribute to the passengers and crew of Flight 93. The weather was as somber as the event. After all the speeches by the dignitaries were complete, the name of each soul lost on Flight 93 was read aloud as a bell tolled.

The Flight 93 memorial is a National Park Service site. There are granite memorial plaques and 20 memorial wooden benches. Each bench faces the crash site and has the names of two crash victims engraved into it.

One of the California riders, who was unable to attend the final day, had known Flight 93 passenger Nicole Miller as she was growing up and requested a photo of the tribute bench with her name.

The Burchers, and the other cyclists, made this trip to convey the message to never forget September 11, to honor and support the first responders and remember military personnel and their families. The riders are hoping this will result in a National First Responders Recognition Day.

California Congressman Mike Thompson entered into the Congressional Record a request that this nation recognize the sacrifices of the First Call Responders.

For more information about Torches Across America go to: www.torchesacrossamerica.com.