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Father and son prepare for bike ride to honor 9/11 first responders

Posted at 5:30 AM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 10:56:56-04

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11. To honor the first responders who lost their lives that day, a father and son are preparing to embark on a 3,800-mile journey.

The group is made up of firefighters, veterans, and other first responders. They'll be riding their bikes from the Bay Area to Brooklyn starting on August 1 and ending at Ground Zero right before September 11.

Aaron Ray and his dad Dewey are going along for the ride. Aaron is a firefighter for the city of Maricopa and Dewey is a retired Mesa firefighter.

Both say they were impacted by the sacrifice first responders made on that day.

"I wasn't a firefighter, but my dad was a firefighter," said Aaron. "It affected me knowing that could be my dad."

"For a week that’s all I focused on," said Dewey. "Preparing the city of Mesa for whatever may follow."

For the past year, the two have been training for the ride. Dewey says he's an avid cyclist. Aaron says he works out regularly but began biking more frequently within the past year.

"What more can you ask for, going for a ride with brothers and sisters from other places and having your son come with you?" said Dewey. "What a great opportunity."

They say the plan is to spend the night at different firehouses along the way, riding roughly 100 miles a day for 40 days straight. Along with learning about other cities and meeting other first responders on their journey, Aaron says he's most looking forward to creating memories with his dad.


"What a great family history and story to have for our posterity, you know," said Aaron.

The group is raising money for the Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation. To learn more about their ride and how to donate, click here.