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9/11 Ride Through Leesburg

Photo Credit John Puterio
Photo Credit John Puterio

By: Erica Walker
In memory of all the people who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, America’s 9/11 Foundation organizes an annual bike ride throughout the country. On August 19th, 2011, the 10th annual bike ride started in Shanksville, PA and in order to go to the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the motorists passed by downtown Leesburg.  There were over 1,400 motorists at this event, which caused traffic jams around Loudon County. Assistant Principal Mr. Martin noticed that schools and businesses closed down early in order to proceed with the bike rally. At first, the hours the teachers were working that day were uncertain; however, Mr. Martin stated, “The management of the building wasn’t all that much affected due to the great flexibility of the staff that we have.”
In comparison to the building and work hours in general, the sports department had a couple of difficulties with transportation. “The biggest effect that we had is we had to move our bus schedule for games that were leaving,” Assistant Athletic Director Mr. Puterio explained. The football team had to take a bus from Heritage High School to get to James Wood for their upcoming game. Mr. Puterio added that it took approximately 3 hours just to get around the traffic. “It did take a while to get through the center of the town,” he added.
Despite the technical and location difficulties, the rally was able to happen. At the rally, two fire trucks were connected to make a bridge over the area which the bikers rode under. When the bikes came to a stop, people were allowed to shake hands with the bikers involved in this event. “It’s great that we have an organization, such as the people who put this bike rally together, put it together in a way to pay respect to the people who were affected and the families affected by 9/11,” Mr. Martin adds about this event. Mr. Puterio says that going or being a part of the event is worth it and people take place in it to show “solitary support.”

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