Motorcycle group of NYC firefighters visits community college’s 9/11 memorial
The pilgrimage has become an annual tradition for the current and retired FDNY members who comprised the group known as the Fire Riders
By Bob Kalinowski
The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
NANTICOKE, Pa. — A motorcycle group of New York City firefighters rumbled into Nanticoke on Wednesday to visit Luzerne County Community College’s Walk of Honor, a memorial that has a tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Robert Carlo, whose family is from Newport Twp., came to honor his brother, Michael, a fellow firefighter who was killed on Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center.
The memorial has a plaque dedicated to Michael Carlo. Robert Carlo laid flowers nearby during Wednesday’s visit.
The pilgrimage has become an annual tradition for the current and retired FDNY members who comprised the group known as the Fire Riders.
“There’s a lot of sadness that’s associated with the month of September. For years, I dreaded the month of September. It created a lot of anxiety and sadness,” Michael Carlo, who retired from the FDNY in 2005, said during a speech at the memorial.
He challenged his brothers and sisters to turn that sadness into positivity rather than let the terrorists accomplish their goal.
“If you go around saying you hate the month of September, that’s one-twelfth of the year. You’re going to hate one-twelfth of you life because something they wanted? I’m not giving it to them. If you dread the month of September, they win,” Michael Carlo said.
Michael Carlo, who still has family in Nanticoke and Newport Twp., told the crowd about visiting his Luzerne County relatives every holiday and summer when he was a kid. He recalled riding his bicycle all over.
He said he didn’t get into riding motorcycles under after Sept. 11. After buying a motorcycle, he started riding with the Fire Riders.
“The rest is history — 450,000 miles later, here we are today,” Michael Carlo said. “I never personally worked with any of these guys I rode up with today but our common bond is the love of riding motorcycles.”
Michael Carlo thanked the Nanticoke Fire Department for the warm welcome, as fire trucks escorted the riders through town. The bikers then visited city fire headquarters.
“We really got to know the guys in Nanticoke,” Michael Carlo said. “It’s a great thing to continue the brotherhood across state lines.”
©2019 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)