Digital Journal attended the media launch of the Tour of Duty Ride in Sydney hosted by news presenter Sandra Sully and attended by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Chief of Defence David Hurley.
The Tour of Duty bike ride will leave San Diego on 12 August and arrive in New York on 10 September. More information is available on the Tour of Duty Ride website.
Sandra Sully was working for channel ten when the news about 9/11 broke.
John Howard was Prime Minister of Australia at the time of the 9/11 attacks. On that day he was in Washington, D.C. He saw the attacks on the Pentagon from the window of the hotel where he was holding a press conference.
Leading Firefighter Jon Sculley
Digital Journal spoke to Leading Firefighter Jon Sculley who will be taking part in the ride. He told Digital Journal “We leave for the USA tomorrow. We arrive in the USA on Friday. And we start the ride from San Diego, from the Midway, on Sunday. We finish in New York and we finish at the USS Intrepid. So it’s about a four-week trip.”
The USS Midway was one of America’s longest serving aircraft carriers and is now a museum.
Which leg of the journey are you doing?
“Everybody travels together and we cover about 200 - 230kms per day, but everyone will ride perhaps about 100 to 120kms per day. We stop over night and then start again the next day. So everyday we ride about 100 to 120kms; which will be challenging in heat and altitude. And the cumulative effect of riding will…yeah, it becomes a challenge most certainly, but it should be a worthwhile challenge.”
Is there anything happening on September 11th to mark the anniversary?
“Every year there is. I was fortunate enough to do the run in 2010, also. And just speaking to the people that were there; they still very much respect that day and it means a lot to them.
“I also sense they are trying to move on as well. Not to say they’ll ever forget that day, but they know that they need to move on and go forward. I know certainly from the Fire Department, they have services of remembrance and a very, very special, significant service down by the World Trade Center [site] at sunset; and as a firefighter I’ll be there, no doubt.
“But there’s nothing certain set for ourselves. We deliberately arrive on September 10 and we’ll just blend in with the crowd on September 11.”
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard (left) chatting with Leading Firefighter Jon Sculley (centre) at the media launch of the Tour of Duty Ride.