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Bicyclists honoring 9/11 fallen heroes arrive in Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Sunday, the Brotherhood Ride, a national group of firefighters and policemen, biked into Charleston to honor fallen heroes.

The Brotherhood Ride was created in 2007 to honor the Charleston 9. But this year, the fourth annual Brotherhood Ride is dedicated to the 411 fallen heroes who lost their lives on September 11.

The group of 40 bikers will ride over 1,600 miles, in 22 days. It's a journey that started in Florida and will end at Ground Zero in New York, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Retired firefighter Dan Rowan of the New York City Fire Department was at the World Trade Center on that September day.

"Fifty-three guys that I trained and worked with I lost that day," said Rowan. "Very, very close to me. Not a day goes by that I don't think of them. That's one of the reasons I'm hooked up with the Brotherhood Ride to give a little something back."

"I keep pictures of guys in my pocket that I ride with daily," said Rowan. "I also think about 9/11 too, that they can't make it back. So I'm doing it for them and they get me through the next hurdle."

The annual Brotherhood Ride started in 2007 after the tragedy of the Charleston 9.

"We wanted to show the families that we wanted to give emotional support we didn't want to just write a check or collect some money," said President and Founder of Brotherhood Ride, Jeff Morse. "We wanted to show them that there were firefighters out there that wanted to dedicate something to do something for the families."

Morse says before each day of the ride the group reads names of fallen heroes.

"In addition to those 19 names that we read off this morning, we read off the nine names of the Charleston 9 because they are with us today, and again, if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be riding," said Morse.

Three local City of Charleston firefighters, David Griffin, Matt Thompson and John Cole are participating in the ride.

"Brotherhood means getting together and remembering guys and training and learning the job correctly so it doesn't happen again," said Charleston Firefighter, David Griffin. "I want people to understand that I've learned that a lot on this ride."

The group will be biking in the Palmetto State over the next few days. They are set to leave Charleston on Monday for Sumter, followed by a stop in Rock Hill on Tuesday.

If you would like more information on the Brotherhood Ride and how you can get involved, visit their website at http://www.brotherhoodride.com

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