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Douglas Kearns from Atlanta, Ga.  stands outside a D.C. fire station.  Kearns and 11 others are cycling from Atlanta to New York City to pay tribute to the firefighters who died on 9/11. 
Patrick Madden
Douglas Kearns from Atlanta, Ga.  stands outside a D.C. fire station.  Kearns and 11 others are cycling from Atlanta to New York City to pay tribute to the firefighters who died on 9/11. 

D.C. firefighters are honoring a team of colleagues from Georgia who have embarked on a 1,000-mile bicycle trip. The ride designed to pay tribute to the firefighters who died on September 11th.

They call themselves the "freedom riders." 

A dozen firefighters and public safety officers from Atlanta Fire and Rescue are cycling all the way from Atlanta to New York City to honor the 343 firefighters and paramedics who lost their lives on 9/11. 

Team leader Douglas Kearns says the group has biked nearly 870 miles in the last ten days, including a particularly tough stretch through the Blue Ridge mountains.  

Kearns says the grueling trip is about one thing: brotherhood.

“We are trying to remember our firefighters, our brothers, that lost their lives nearly 10 years ago and we really couldn’t do anything in the South," Kearns says. "We just want to let all the families know that they are in our hearts.”

The group was honored at a District fire station last night and served a hearty meal, courtesy of the D.C. Fire and EMS. The team hopes to reach New York by Sept. 10. 

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