On Friday, May 17 at approximately 4:00 p.m. the families, friends, and colleagues of EMS and air medical professionals who lost their lives in the line of duty as well as EMS legacy personnel who have died of natural or non-employment-related causes will gather to cheer the National EMS Memorial Bike Riders as they roll into The Plaza at National Harbor. The riders began their journey in Boston last Saturday and have traveled over 500 miles in a variety of weather in honor of their fallen colleagues. The NEMSMBR East Coast riders will be joined by the NEMSMBR Southern Route in Annapolis, MD. Together they will be led by law enforcement and fire/EMS vehicles as they proceed to The Plaza. Bagpipe and drum corps along with honor guards from around the United States will also be there to welcome the riders.
Each of the nearly 200 participants and support teams will be carrying dog tags inscribed with the names of 75individuals they have ridden in memory of over the past seven days. The riders will present their dog tags to the awaiting families, friends or colleagues. A short ceremony will follow the dog tag presentations. A team from HOPE Animal-assisted Crisis Response (www.hopeaacr.org) will also be on hand at the event.
The Ride is tough no matter how experienced and accomplished of a rider you are, and weather can make it more difficult. Brian Shaw, president of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, when asked shared his insight into why they ride. “Participants in the National EMS Memorial Bike Rides honor the lives of EMS providers who were perhaps their friends, family or co-workers by pedaling their bicycles over many miles of challenging terrain. A challenge that no matter how hard or grueling is a reminder that we are here and able to complete this task and shall never forget those that have left us all too soon.”
The National EMS Weekend of Honor is organized and hosted by the following volunteer-staffed organizations: National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, National EMS Memorial Service, and the National EMS Memorial Foundation. The lives of air medical and EMS providers who died in the line of duty in 2017 will be honored and celebrated. See the National EMS Memorial website www.national-ems-memorial.org for more information on the specific event times and locations.
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