Hundreds pay respect during 9/11 Freedom Ride

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                                The local chapter of Rolling Thunder, along with a host of over participants, hit the rode to honor those that lost their lives 15 years ago.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
The local chapter of Rolling Thunder, along with a host of other participants, hit the road to honor those that lost their lives 15 years ago.

A cavalry of motorcycles and vehicles could be seen throughout the Tri-Cities Sunday in honor of those that lost lives 15 years ago on September 11.
More than 250 cyclists with the local chapter of Rolling Thunder and drivers took to the streets to pay homage to the nearly 3,000 emergency response and citizens that lost their lives in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania during the terrorist attacks that fateful day. The Freedom Ride was sponsored by Tetrick Funeral Homes of Elizabethton and Johnson City, along with Valley Funeral Home of Erwin and Oak Hill Funeral and Cremation Services in Kingsport.
“As survivors of the 9/11 attacks, it is our job to remember the lives lost of that terrible day so that they remain with us and are never forgotten,” Tyler Tetrick, Vice President of Tetrick Funeral Homes, said. “The Freedom Ride is an event where we as a community can come together and honor those brave heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice — some of whom are from right here in Carter County.”
The Freedom Ride was the second installment of the event, which took place in 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the event.
Sunday’s event began at Tetrick Funeral Home in Elizabethton with a host of activities.
Guest speakers for the event included Dr. Vic Young from the Fountain of Life Bible Church and John Teague from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe’s regional field office.
Along with speakers, music was provided by the Watauga Valley Drum & Fife Corps. The youthful group played “Yankee Doodle” and “Chester” – the first national anthem for the United States from the Revolutionary War. John Daniels also recited the preamble of the Constitution.
Sunday’s event was a time for remembrance, as members of the Elizabethton Fire Department Honor Guard gave a biography of the fire bell as they rang it to honor those that aided in the rescues that day.
Following the events in Elizabethton, riders departed from Tetrick en route to Unicoi County. After their travels through Erwin, they made their way to Oak Hill Memorial Park and Cremation Gardens in Kingsport to conclude the day.
Providing an event like Sunday’s was the least the various funeral homes could do, Tyler said.
“For those who served and are still serving in our military to protect our freedoms, they deserve our respect and deepest gratitude,” Mr. Tetrick added. “We are blessed to have dedicated, professional police, firefighters, and emergency responders in our community. The Ride is an opportunity to show our appreciation to those brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day, here and abroad, to protect us from whatever threats we may face. 9/11 was a terrible day for our nation and we will never forget it, but it also is a time to remember how resilient we are as a people. Our hope is that the Freedom Ride will remind us of this as we pay tribute to this great nation and to those who protect it.”

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