A motorcycle club made up mainly of former law enforcement officers will organize a remembrance hike on Sunday in honor of the victims of September 11.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn – A group of bikers will take to the streets on Sunday to remember and honor the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The “Blue Knights III” is part of an international motorcycle club made up of active and retired police officers. The Knoxville Riders Chapter is hosting a Sunday Remembrance Ride at Bootlegger’s Harley Davidson in West Knoxville.
Almost 3,000 people died in the terrorist attacks and 400 were rescue workers. In the biker club, 8 members were officers from the New York Police Department at the time and several of those bikers rushed to help.
Robert McCaffery is a member of the Blue Knights III. For 20 years, he has carried a terrifying memory.
“It was just a horrible scene. There was smoke and there was fire. It smelled,” he said.
A former captain of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in New Jersey, Mccafery, like many other first responders, volunteered to help search for victims after the World Trade Center attack.
“There was gray dust everywhere. There were people everywhere. Everything was pretty disorganized. There was no one in charge. No one in charge,” said McCaffery.
He said he met an NYPD officer in Staten Island before taking a ferry to town, where much of the devastation took place. He said getting off the ferry was like stepping onto a movie set, with gray dust and destruction all around.
After the attacks, he said nothing else mattered. Like many of his fellow officers, he just wanted to help.
“It’s the biggest city in the world and I just felt like I had to do something and go help was the best thing I could do,” he said. “We have guys out there day in and day out breaking their backs to save people and then later to get as many bodies as possible so the family can have as much closure as possible.”
To this day, some members of the motorcycle club cannot speak about what they witnessed. But some have said that the events of September 11 have bound them forever.
Anyone can join the Sunday Remembrance Hike with the group. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office will escort riders from the Harley Davidson Bootlegger in West Knoxville at 10 a.m. Click here to find out more.