Aug. 20, 2019 By Allie Griffin
The fourth annual Run for Richie 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride returns next month to honor the memory of Richard “Richie” Allen Pearlman, the youngest first responder lost on 9/11.
On Sept. 8, several thousand emergency vehicles and motorcycles will drive from Queens’ Aqueduct Racetrack to Ground Zero and back in memory of all those lost on 9/11 like Pearlman, as well as those still suffering from 9/11 related illnesses today.
Pearlman joined Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps’ Junior Corps at the young age of 14 and soon excelled to become a dispatcher, later joining the Senior Corps at 18 years old.
“It was only supposed to be a way of keeping a teenage boy off the streets and out of trouble. But soon after Richard Pearlman’s mother signed him up, the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps unlocked a life’s passion. For four years, no matter the weather, he was always there, riding two buses from his home in Howard Beach to Forest Hills, determined to learn as much as he could,” read a New York Times profile of Pearlman from November 2001.
On September 11, 2001, Pearlman was working as an office clerk for a Queens lawyer and had been sent to run an errand at 1 Police Plaza. There he learned a plane hit the twin towers, and alongside police officers, he rushed on foot to the scene.
A photograph in Newsweek’s Extra Edition of America Under Attack shows Pearlman aiding the injured at Ground Zero. He became the youngest first responder who died in the tragedy.
The motorcycle ride “Run For Richie” was named in his honor. It is hosted by NYC Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club and Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Kickstands will go up at 1 p.m. and the ambulances and motorcycles will drive from the Aqueduct Racetrack parking lot to the Cross Bay Boulevard to Woodhaven Boulevard then follow the Long Island Expressway into Manhattan, where they will take the FDR Drive to Ground Zero, where drivers will loop around and head up to 42nd Street and back into Queens, ending again at the racetrack parking lot.
For tickets and further details, visit the run’s Eventbrite.