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Firefighters on cross-country bike ride to remember victims of 9/11 arrive in Coachella Valley

A group of firefighters on bike ride across the United States to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 made a stop in the Coachella Valley on Monday.

15 firefighters from California, Colorado and Washington state are traveling from Los Angeles to New York City in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago.

The group is also raising money for several charities that help and support firefighters that are struggling with health problems and/or illnesses such as cancer.

"Well, that day, a lot of souls were lost that day, about 3343 of those were firemen and in the city of New York and we're just doing this, we're raising money for several charities that help out and support firefighters that are having problems with illness or injury," said Steve Winter, a rider and retired firefighter. "And there's a continuing legacy of cancer deaths in the population of those who served there. So we're just trying to keep the support going for those and not let people forget that day."

"911 didn't just end on 9/11. We're up to three or four hundred firefighters that have died since 9/11 due to those job-related cancers from working on the pile to try to find victims," said Tom Sowards, a rider and firefighter Lieutenant with Renton Regional Fire Authority in Washington.

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The "LA2NY Ride for America" officially kicked off in Santa Monica Pier on Sunday. The group hopes to make it to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City on September 9, 2021.

The firefighters made their way to the city of Indio on Monday.

"Today we did 69.7 miles 2000 feet of climbing. But the crew with the heat we only averaged about 15 and a half miles an hour," Sowards said.

The group stopped at a hotel in Indio Monday afternoon, meeting some local first responders, who gave the group an escort as they made their way through the Coachella Valley.

If you would like to keep track of the group's progress over the next 40 days, check out:

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Jesus Reyes


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