What: Welcoming of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride
When: Friday, May 17 at 4:00 p.m. (approximately)
Where: The Plaza Stage at National Harbor, National Harbor Blvd., Oxon Hill, MD
Who: 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 National Harbor. The NEMSMBR East Coast Route will be joined by NEMSMBR Southern Route riders in Annapolis, MD and will ride into National Harbor. The riders 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 75 individuals that they have ridden in honor and memory of over the past seven days and 500 plus miles from Boston, MA to National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. 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. 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.”