Thousands of people rode 60 miles through Fairfield County on Sunday in the state’s largest 9/11 tribute ride.
Nearly 20,000 more cheered them on as they made their way from Norden Park in Norwalk to Seaside Park in Bridgeport.
The CT United Ride started 18 years ago to raise money for first responders after 9/11.
“It’s following the very first year where that was the 9/11 funds in New York,” said The CT United Ride’s Executive Director Fred Garrity. “We come back in this parking lot here, thousands of people ride 60 miles with 20,000 spectators and American flags. It shows the patriotism that we all have and we won’t forget.”
The funds raised on Sunday still go to a good cause.
“We raise money for Connecticut firefighters, Connecticut police officers, first responders, and we still make a donation to the United Way,” Garrity said.
This year, the ride was dedicated to one member of Connecticut law enforcement-- New Haven Captain Anthony Duff who, was shot while responding to a scene while off duty last month.
“This year we have a special circumstance where we’re going to honor the heroism and bravery of Captain Anthony Duff from New Haven, who went above and beyond the call of the duty to save strangers,” Garrity explained.
One rider from Shelton, Alberto Barbosa, said no word describes the experience of riding in the CT United Ride better than, “goosebumps.”
“You see the big American flags and then when you drive under, you just get goosebumps,” Barbosa said. “There’s sadness, but at the same time there’s happiness by everybody being together.”