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Red Knights in Wilmington host annual 9/11 memorial ride

Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 11:00 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The kickstands were up Sunday afternoon as the Red Knights rode around Wilmington for their annual 9/11 memorial ride, also known as the 343 ride.

Red Knights is an international motorcycle club honoring the fallen firefighters on September 11, 2001.

“We’re doing our annual 343 memorial ride for our 343 fallen brothers on 9/11,” said Red Knights NC6 President Buddy Mizzelle. Red Knights NC6 is the Wilmington area chapter, hosting Sunday’s event.

“During this ride, if you notice, we’re wearing dog tags. Each tag has a firefighters name that was at the trade center . . . you’re riding in memory of that person,” said Tom MacNeish, Vice President of Red Knights NC6.

This was the 16th year hosting a 343 ride, honoring fallen heroes, and raising money for local charities and organizations.

“We’ve raised over 100,000 dollars over the years to the Jaycee Burn Center, we’ve given money to hospice . . . just some of the one’s we’ve donated to. We try to donate local, and something that’s close to our hearts,” MacNeish said. It has not yet been decided where this year’s funds will be donated.

Local fire departments and other law enforcement agencies showed up in support, and to escort the nearly 400 riders that participated in the event.

People came from near and far to join the 343 ride. “We’re a big brotherhood, we came all the way from Virginia to Wilmington to support them,” Mike Hickam said. Hickam is the Vice President of Red Knights VA8.

His chapter, along with others, have participated in memorial rides over the past few weeks in surrounding states, so for Hickam, he said a memorial ride to honor the fallen is the least he can do. “Being in the fire service, 9-11 has a special meaning to everyone. With that, anytime the Red Knights are involved in something, we’re gonna try make it a point to be there.”

Another VA8 member, Sara-Lynn Prefontaine, emphasized the importance of the 343 ride, saying “we come out and support and remember the 343 lives lost, and help someone else get further along, that’s what this is all about.”

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