Motorcyclists ride down to 9/11 Memorial to honor first responders

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hundreds of thousands of people converged on the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and without a thought for their own safety, helped to rescue and clean-up the wreckage while the rest of the world was still reeling in shock.

In order to honor these heroic figures, a group of motorcycle riders set off to New York City.

“I think we all just got to stop and remember what it’s all about,” Greg Baltzel, of the Veteran Motorcycle Group, said.

The group departed from the New York Museum in Albany and joined around 600 other riders including Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York City.

“It’s inspiring but at the same time as a rider for a long time, it’s tough riding with this many bikes around here,” Baltzel said.

The 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle ride is held every year to pay tribute to the strength and courage of the first responders who led the rescue and clean-up after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

Gov. Cuomo made a few remarks on the heroism of the first responders at the memorial ride lunch and signed legislation that will expand unlimited sick leave benefits for public sector officers and employees who developed a health condition as a result of risking their lives to help in the aftermath of the attacks.

“Because they paid literally with their health to help New Yorkers and the state of New York is going to be there for them,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Under this new bill, any city worker who was a part of the recovery efforts and has a qualifying health condition will be eligible for unlimited paid leave at 100 percent of their regular salary dating back to the time of their diagnosis.

“Our message is simple, we will always have your back.”

Currently, NYPD, the NY Fire Department and other city services have similarly paid leave benefits available for those who obtain an injury or illness in the line of duty.

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