Memorial Ride Honors Firefighters

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CLEVELAND -- Thousands gathered at the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Sunday to honor fallen firefighters and to make sure that their service and their sacrifice are not forgotten.

"We're here to support our firefighters.  They are our local heroes," said Tim Carl, a motorcycle rider from Parma.

"It is so nice that they come together to honor firefighters.  I just think it's phenomenal and the support," said Angelia Webster, a Cleveland rider.

Inspired by the heroics of 9/11, this is the ninth year for the Annual Firefighters Memorial Ride and Ceremony.

"We want to make sure that families who have lost loved ones in firefighting or EMS -- make sure we will never forget their names and ride in their honor today," said John Kikol, the organizer.

They remembered 82 firefighters across the country who lost their lives last year.

Among them are three Ohio and two Cleveland firefighters who answered the last call of duty.

"Captain Mike Burgan, Sugarcreek Fire Department ... James Hinkle, Cleveland Fire Department, Engine 40 ... Lt. John Murphy, Cleveland Fire Department, Ladder 7," the names were read.

Edward Bernosky of Adena Volunteer Fire Deparment and Rocky Dunkin of Nile Township Volunteer Fire Department were also honored.

"My dad always said that the fire department isn't just a job, it's like a brotherhood and that really meant a lot to us throughout our lives and it means a lot now," said Mike Murphy, John Murphy's son.

That brotherhood got on their motorcycles to ride 45 miles in procession past nine fire houses in honor of all fallen firefighters.

The Annual Firefighters Memorial Ride also raised money for the families of the fallen fighters and ten scholarships were presented to children of firefighters or paramedics.