Key Facts: According to the Richmond Police Department's Officer in charge, Lieutenant Donnie Benedict, the offical count of the number that weathered the thunderstorms Saturday for the escort was 12 to 13,000 motorcycles. The original estimate was for 1,500 to 3,000, but interest grew quickly late last week. By the time the last motorcycle left Richmond, the steel beams had travelled 52-miles towards the arrival ceremony in Indianapolis. There were no arrests related to the event. There were no accidents in Richmond, but one in Wayne Country resulted in minor injuries.
Expected to be completed by the tenth anniversary, Indianapolis is expanding it's memorial to the 9/11 terriorist attacks with addition of two beams from the World Trade Center. These beams will be arriving in Indiana on April 9 with the assistance of a motorcycle escort from the American Legion Riders, Indiana State Police and other parties.
Indianapolis 9/11 Memorial Site
Anticipated opening detication ceremony- September 11, 2011
Primary staging area:
Secondary staging area:
American Legion Post 500
Ernie Pyle VFW Post 1120
About Project 9/11 Indianapolis
In 2001, Greg was a member of Indiana Task Force 1, one of the first FEMA Search & Rescue teams to arrive at Ground Zero. INTF-1 spent 8 days in New York assisting the local agencies in the rescue and recovery efforts.
In 2010, Greg petitioned the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to obtain 2 steel beams from the World Trade Center. The following individuals were instrumental in assisting Greg in his efforts:
- Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard
- Indianapolis Fire Chief Brian Sanford
- Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Ciesielski
- Indiana Congressman Mike Pence
- Indiana Congressman Dan Burton
- Indiana Congressman Andre Carson
After months of effort, the City of Indianapolis was granted possession of two 22 foot steel beams.
Those steel beams will be the focal point of Project 9/11 Indianapolis. The Memorial will be dedicated on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history.
Project 9/11 Indianapolis will be built at 421 West Ohio Street along the White River Canal. It will become a part of the city landscape that includes the USS Indianapolis Memorial and the Medal of Honor Memorial.
The steel beams are currently being stored in Hangar 18 at JFK Airport in New York. Hangar 18 is an 80,000 square foot hangar that houses all the artifacts recovered from the World Trade Center.
On April 5th, Greg will fly to New York to begin the journey to bring the beams home to Indianapolis.
About the American Legion
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest veterans service organization, committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.
In contrast to other veterans organizations, the Legion offers a number of local programs and activities to strengthen its commitment to our nation’s grass roots and the people we serve. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs; it continues to educate youths on the importance of sportsmanship and develops the quality of our country’s citizenship. The Heroes to Hometowns program is the only nationwide reintegration assistance service for wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, millions of dollars in donations have been given to fellow veterans and their families in times of grief, and various scholarship opportunities ensure the future success of our youth.
The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvements in the legislation process. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to their community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands not behind politics, but the issues and people that institute progress by focusing on veterans rights and quality of life.
The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.