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Thousands of Bikers Roll Through Midtown for 9/11 Ride

By Tom Liddy | August 21, 2011 11:45am | Updated on August 21, 2011 2:56pm

MANHATTAN — Thousands of motorcycles roared through Midtown Saturday night to pay tribute to those who died on 9/11, flashing lights, revving their engines and thrilling the massive crowds that gathered to watch the spectacle.

The parade of nealry 2,500 bikes - many from police departments around the country - began around 7:30 p.m. and filled the streets with the thunderous boom of V-Twin engines.

Crowds of flag-waving onlookers lined 52nd Street and Seventh Avenue to catch a glimpse of the participants in the 11th annual America's 9/11 Ride, which included survivors of the attacks, those who lost loved ones and first responders.

The group's first stop on the three-day tour was the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.  From there, they rolled down to the Pentagon and then up to New York.

Then, on Sunday morning, they headed from Midtown down to the World Trade Center for a ceremony.

The ride, organized by America's 911 Foundation, comes less than a month before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Aside from honoring those who served and died at Ground Zero, the event is intended to raise money for first responders and their families and award scholarships.

The first ride took place on Nov. 10 and 11, 2001, when a group of motorcyclists rode from the White House to Ground Zero to memorialize the attacks, according to the Foundation's website.