Parade of Brothers Motorcycle Ride 9/11 memorial in Ocean City, Md. Sept. 11, 2016. Megan Raymond
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Parade of Brothers motorcycle ride on Ocean City’s boardwalk.
Led by the Red Knights, a Delmarva motorcycle club made up of firefighters, the event honors those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrors attacks.
John Tartufo, a Red Knight member who has been hosting the event, talked more about how the event continues to endure.
How did this ride start?
Harley Davidson of Ocean City started it in 2002, when it did not fall during Bike Week and was not profitable for them.
Our president, Larry Sackadorf called me and asked if I thought we could do this as a Red Knights only ride — my answer was “Sure.”
We approached the mayor and council with this, we were given their blessing and after that first year we asked to be allowed to open it to the public.
The response from the city fathers was unanimous. We have been told that as long as we want to put this memorial ride on we will be allowed to.
Are you surprised how much the event has grown over the years and how it has endured?
At times, yes and then no!
This ride is a memorial to the 323 firefighters that died on Sept. 11,2001 at the World Trade Center. When this happened, everyone said never forget 9/11. Well, there are some that would like to put it aside. Not!
Our purpose here is to memorialize those events of that tragic day and to never forget what happened to this country on that tragic day. This is a part of history and should not be swept under the rug because it offends others.
For the people who have never had the chance to see all the motorcycles lined up, can you explain what it’s like to see? And what it’s like to be in a parade, riding your motorcycle down the Ocean City Boardwalk?
This will be my 15th year participating in this memorial ride and my eighth as master of ceremonies. Beginning with registration it is an honor to answer questions from the public about what is going on.
The Boardwalk is lined with spectators even though it is after Labor Day. Some run to the Boardwalk when the hear the engines roar, not knowing what is happening until someone tells them.
I, for one, never have a dry eye during the procession because the spectators know why we are there. For me it is an honor (as well as it is with all that participate) I cannot even begin to explain what it is like to stand on that podium with hundreds of spectators in front of me and conduct the memorial service.
I not only speak for myself but for the many that I know that participate in this ride, after all these years of doing this event it never gets old!
If you have never been there it is something that will make the hairs on your arms stand up and bring a tear to your eyes, as it does mine every year.
IF YOU GO
What: OC 9/11 Parade of Brothers motorcycle ride
When: Monday, Sept. 11, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Ocean City Boardwalk from 27th Street to North Division Street