New York firefighters stop in Myrtle Beach during bike ride to Florida with World Trade Center beam

akelley@thesunnews.comMarch 27, 2014 

— A group of New York firefighters spent Thursday evening in Myrtle Beach en route to Florida where a World Trade Center beam is being donated to the National Navy-UDT Museum.

The group was met at the South Carolina welcome center in Little River by Horry County firefighters and police who escorted the bicyclists and a truck with a trailer carrying the beam to their resting spot in Myrtle Beach. On Friday, the firefighters, who are stationed in the China Town section of New York City, continue south to Charleston.

Capt. Jason Mills with Horry County Fire Rescue, said escorts aren’t required for such rides but the department, upon hearing about the ride, wanted to show support.

“We wanted to show support to them on their ride and their mission,” he said. “The brotherhood is important to Horry County. We want them to know Horry County is here for them.”

Kevin McCormick said he’s not sure he will ride his bicycle again after the trip, which has wound south from the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City on the way to Fort Pierce, Fla.

On the way, McCormick said they are selling T-shirts to raise funds and awareness for the Trident House, which is used by families of special operations soldiers killed in the line of duty who are visiting the Navy SEAL memorial or by SEALs and their families who are injured or battle-fatigued.

While the house and the memorial isn’t directly related to a fire department, McCormick said the military is deserving of the NYFD’s thanks.

“Immediately after Sept. 11, there were boots on the ground in Afghanistan mostly because of the events that happened on that terrible day,” McCormick said. “They give their lives for us every day. This is our way of saying thank you to them.”

McCormick said the weather and the hills through Pennsylvania and Maryland have been the toughest part of the journey. He said the weather upon entering South Carolina Thursday about 3 p.m. was the best so far along the trip.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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