Motorcycle Tribute Will Honor 9/11's Flight 93
The flight originated in New Jersey and was bound for northern California when it was hijacked by members of the al-Qaida terrorist group.
The motorcycle caravan will retrace the flight's intended path. It leaves Newark Liberty International Airport Thursday morning and is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco on the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The 9/11 Commission report said the hijackers crashed the plane as passengers fought to regain control of the cockpit, avoiding a potential attack on the White House or U.S. Capitol. Forty people aboard the plane, 33 passengers and seven crew members, died.
For Ken Nacke, a 48-year-old police detective in Maryland, the cross-country trip, called "Ride with the Forty," is a way to keep their memory alive. His older brother Louis "Joey" Nacke died in the crash.
"We're completing their journey," Nacke said. "This is something that Americans should never forget. Flight 93 was the first battle Americans won against terrorism."
The ride also will raise money for the Flight 93 National Memorial, which is expected to cost $58 million. The 2,200-acre memorial near Shanksville, Pa., where the plane fell, is scheduled to open on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Nacke organized the ride and said anyone who cares about Flight 93 and Sept. 11 and what they represent is welcome to join in all or part of the nine-day journey. At least 20 relatives and friends of the passengers and crew already are expected to participate, he said
An interactive display on the group's Web site allows people to track the riders' progress and join them as they pass through a new area. It's linked to a GPS device that updates the group's location every 10 minutes. The caravan includes two large support trucks and two trailers decorated with graphics related to 9/11.