LOS GATOS, Calfi. - A group of bicyclists led by a retired Santa Clara firefighter Is preparing for the 20th anniversary of September 11th by riding across the country.
They leave Sunday morning from a fire station in Santa Clara.
On Friday afternoon, the bicyclists trained in Los Gatos for what's called "Bay to Brooklyn." It's a cross country ride to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
"It's to help bring some understanding to people about the depth of the injury that took place on that day," says Darrell Sales who organized the trip.
Ten cyclists, firefighters active and retired, joined by military veterans, on this journey to connect the past to the present.
Remembering the damage done.
"Not just with the buildings, but the families of the firefighters who still live with it today," says Sales.
Cal Fire battalion chief John Byrnes with the Santa Clara unit says he was only 16 on that day. He was inspired to join the fire service, "I remember seeing the comradery and the sacrifice and dedication that people make."
At the start of each day, the team will read aloud ten names of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives.
Each cyclist has a personal focus.
"There've been over 7000 men and women who've died in the war on terror and I don't want them to be forgotten either," says Gary Wiley, a U.S. Navy veteran.
One team member says he wants to shine a light on the mental health needs of first responders and veterans.
"That's an injury you can't always see. It wasn't as visible as the towers collapsing on 9/11 and those who lost their lives there," says Cal Fire battalion chief Michael DeLeo.
The men plan to cycle 80 to 100 miles a day--with support vehicles in case of emergencies. .
They'll be eating and sleeping at fire houses along the way.
Their journey will take them to places including Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and New York where there are memorials for the fallen.
Their stories shared.
"It's a vow that we made the day that it happened to never forget," says Sales.
The bicyclists expect the trip to take 40 days.
Their goal is to reach Brooklyn September 9th.
To follow the group's journey, click here.