Two Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be bicycling 1,600 miles to honor the families of emergency workers who died in the line of duty Sept. 11, 2001.
Sgt. Dan McDonald and Cpl. Bruce Cordivari will join 38 other law enforcement officers and firefighters from around the nation in the Brotherhood Ride, departing North Naples on Saturday and stopping at Ground Zero in New York City on Sept. 10, the eve of the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.
The Brotherhood Ride is an organization of firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel who ride bicycles to honor first responders who died in the line of duty. The organization’s mission is to provide emotional and financial support to the officers' families near the anniversary of their loved one's death.
Cpl. Cordivari and Sgt. McDonald are no strangers to long distances. Both deputies have participated in previous Brotherhood Rides. Cpl. Cordivari, 53, rides a bike as part of his job as a community policing deputy in the sheriff’s Golden Gate district. Sgt. McDonald, 44, who works in the Financial Crimes Unit, has run the Boston Marathon and competed in Ironman competitions, including the Ironman championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, in 2009.
Both men said the ride will be tough, but worth it.
“It’s going to be pretty intense and an emotional ride,” Cpl. Cordivari said.
In New York City, Sgt. McDonald and Cpl. Cordivari will participate in the solemn ceremonies honoring those first responders who gave their lives in 9/11. It has been nearly 10 years since the devastating terror attacks.
A total of 411 emergency service workers who responded to the World Trade Center in New York City died as they attempted to rescue people and fight fires. The New York City Fire Department lost 343 firefighters. The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers. The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers and eight additional EMTs and paramedics from private EMS were killed
The trip will mark the second time Cpl. Cordivari has been to Ground Zero. The first was two months after the terror attacks. He attended a memorial for the fallen Port Authority police officers.
Sgt. McDonald has never been to Ground Zero, but he knows the experience will be something he will never forget. More important, he said, is that the families know that their loved ones are not forgotten.
“You do this for people you’ve never met because of the sacrifice they made,” he said.
Click here to learn more about the Brotherhood Ride or to donate, or visit www.brotherhood ride.com.