Motorcyclists and classic car buffs will be taking to the roads between Washington, D.C.; Shanksville, PA; and New York City from Aug. 26 to 28 for a Ride to Remember. Coordinated by Patriots Cove, a retreat in Noxen, PA, for veterans, first responders and their families, the 531-mile road trip will include brief ceremonies at each of the three sites involved in the terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.
Patriots Cove, a community resource and retreat for veterans, first responders and their caregivers, will conduct a Ride to Remember from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 26 to 28. Owners of motorcycles and classic cars are invited to participate in the full ride or any portion of two primary legs of the trip. The journey will start with the laying of a wreath at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., move on the next day to Shanksville, PA, and conclude at the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center in New York City.
Discretely situated along Beaver Run in lower Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, Patriots Cove was founded by Jeff and Melissa Swire as a safe haven for those who have given so much to the nation and their local communities and still face physical and emotional challenges, as well as those who love and support them. The 18-acre venue provides lodging, recreational activities like trout fishing, and programs that address the unique needs of those to whom service and sacrifice came naturally but at a price.
Jeff is a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Army, retired Sgt. First Class, whose service included a stint in Iraq that left him with a permanent back injury. His wife, Melissa, has been acknowledged as a Remarkable Woman of the Year in northeast Pennsylvania and, in 2020, was selected by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation as a Dole Caregiver Fellow, one of 30 military and veteran caregivers recognized that year.
The Swires have been blessed by the support of the greater community by way of program sponsorship, donated construction materials, and a literal army of volunteers who serve as mentors or in whatever capacity they are needed. Supporters of Patriots Cove range from major corporations and local colleges to ordinary people who participate in or volunteer for one event and are captivated by the magic of the place.
A Ride to Remember is geared to increase awareness of not only Patriots Cove but of the growing needs of the families of first responders, many of whom think nothing of leaving dinner on the table to rescue a trapped motorist or extinguish a fire but come home a different person – if they come home at all. Wreaths will be laid at each of the memorial sites in honor of the many heroes lost on Sept. 11, 2001 who came from all walks of life.
Participants will depart from the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial at 2 pm on Aug. 26 and ride 174 miles to Somerset, PA, stopping for meals in Winchester, VA; Cumberland, MD; and Ridgeley, WV. (See detailed route here: (https://maps.harley-davidson.com/share/rides/lB1ouoQ_7?fbclid=IwAR0FWPeA1kcCkwjGoBlrJSrxiA2jxCe4YnIaa7NZYoSkpgSzmPlorKGLKOE)
On Saturday morning, the group will assemble at 9 am and make the ride to Shanksville. After the ceremony there, riders will embark on a 357-mile journey to Fairfield, NJ, with stops in Altoona, Mill Hall, Bloomsburg, Blakeslee, and Tannersville, PA. (See detailed route here: https://maps.harley-davidson.com/share/rides/XBwWAryH7?fbclid=IwAR1bvCWaB-xqKUPVtk_yOQs6ph1mPXee8a_sQ0tPrKI9m_vX8_NEGCb1vVc)
Organizers are working with the Arlington County Police Department, NYPD, and Port Authority officials to coordinate safe escorts in and out of high traffic areas. Meals and overnight stays are the responsibility of the riders.
According to Jeff, interest in a Ride to Remember is already strong, and he is confident that there will be plenty of riders for the northeast PA to New York City portion of the route. “There’s always room for more,” he noted, “but we’d really like to get the word out in the southern areas of the Ride that people are welcome to join us for whatever parts of the route work best for them.”
Registration is as simple as visiting the Patriots Cove Facebook page and typing “Going” as a comment on the event or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about what Patriots Cove has to offer, interested readers can log on to www.patriotscove.org.