More than 250 people from around the country and abroad will convene Wednesday night in Uniondale before embarking on the 10th annual Tour de Force NY ride Thursday from Ground Zero to the Pentagon.
The group of police officers, firefighters and civilians will gather at the Marriott Hotel before heading to Ground Zero Thursday morning, where they will depart on bicycles at 8 a.m. for the 280-mile journey. The trip, scheduled to take four days, will end at the Pentagon on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“This is something that I believe in and is my way to give back,” said Jim Parker, a Suffolk police officer, who is participating in the ride for the 10th time to honor the victims of Sept. 11. “I will probably do this as long as I can.”
The group will be taking a ferry Thursday from near Ground Zero to Belford, N.J., then ride 100 miles to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. On Friday, they’ll ride across New Jersey to Atlantic City, then on Saturday to Annapolis, Md., and Sunday to the Pentagon. They will return to New York City by bus on Monday.
Organizers hope to raise more than $500,000 to benefit families of police officers killed in the line of duty. Donations can be made at tourdeforceny.com or checks can be made out and addressed to Tour de Force, P.O. Box 395, Washingtonville, NY 10992.