Chris Harley Rupp, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee senior and part-time firefighter and EMT
, has planned an honorary bike route
spanning more than 4,000 miles which will take him from San Francisco to New York City over the course of two months. Rupp, along with other firefighters, will make this journey to pay tribute to the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
July 18, 2011 marks the beginning of this journey. Rupp will be the only one biking the entire route, but he encourages anyone and everyone to join him along the way as he passes through the area. The ride is scheduled to come to an end on the morning of Sept. 11, 2011, marking the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
“Getting to New York on 9/11 is important because that day signifies unity in the fire service that is unparallel to any other moment in time,” Rupp said.
Rupp has been working closely with fire departments across the country and specifically with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
, a non-profit organization that honors America’s fallen firefighters and provides assistance and support to the survivors of these heroes. The ride, Rupp says, will provide a means of support and unity for friends, neighbors and co-workers of the men and women who lost their lives not just on 9/11, but in the line of duty everyday. Rupp and the other riders will be sharing information about the National Firefighters Foundation and spreading awareness about where to turn if ever a loved one answers the call of duty with his or her life.
Fire Ride: Tribute 2011 is a personal mission for Rupp, a 23-year-old volunteer firefighter and EMT. As an eighth-grader in 2001, Rupp remembers the event and the men and women who inspired him join the fire service at age 18. The passion he has as a fire service member fuels this tribute, he says.