Today, we remember and pay our respects to the first responders and lives lost on September 11, 2001. Thousands of people gathered in Westport to do just that for the 21st annual CT United Ride.
The CT United Ride, which began as a fundraiser two weeks after the September 11th attacks, has now evolved into the state's largest 9/11 motorcycle tribute.
"But we are an original 911 event and have continued with the respect for what happened to honor them. And to honor those who still do it. You know, the firefighters say never forget. Everybody says never forget, this is one of the ways you do it," said Fred Garrity, Jr. of the CT United Ride.
"It's a day I'll never forget...it was very, very emotional," said Michael Allegrini, of Shelton.
It's a tragedy seared in the nation's memory.
"Because I remember being down there, I worked down there the Friday after it happened and I was there 26...27 hours," said retired Bridgeport firefighter Zoltan Szabo.
Retired Bridgeport firefighter of 44 years, Zoltan Szabo said he remembers it all.
"It reminded me of a World War Two movie. The aftermath, it was something that I'll never forget," Szabo said.
So every year, thousands of people ride to remember. It's a 60 mile route from Westport to Bridgeport to honor the first responders and the many lives taken too soon.
Through this ride, Garridy has helped raise over half a million dollars for Connecticut first responders.
"For those that gave their lives, and for those that continue to put their lives on the line each day...that's why we ride," Garridy said.
The tribute began at Sherwood Island State Park, which is the site where the state met earlier this week for its annual 9/11 memorial ceremony. There, the names of the 161 victims with ties to Connecticut were read aloud.