- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2002

More than 1,250 bicyclists wrapping up a 270-mile trip at the Pentagon yesterday cheered loudest when one of their own promised victory over terrorism.
"Terrorism will not stand," said Dr. Mark Burlingame, 52, of Lancaster, Pa. "We will rid the scourge of terrorism from the face of this earth."
The heart surgeon is a novice cyclist. He made the three-day trip from ground zero in New York City to the Pentagon to honor his brother, Capt. Charles F. Burlingame III. Mr. Burlingame was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon last year.
The trip, organized for physically able and disabled cyclists by World TEAM Sports to honor the 3,000 victims killed by terrorists on September 11, drew riders from 42 states and 10 foreign countries,
"I'm from Israel," said Maytal Serper, 33. "That's why I'm here. I'm coming here because of my personal experience. I have more feeling for what they went through."
Mrs. Serper was one of the handicapped, peddling a low, three-wheel cycle with her gloved hands because her left leg is false. She had been practicing for three months for the trip. A scar could be seen on her throat.
"I've got scars all over my body," Mrs. Serper said, as result of a suicide bomber seven years ago in Tel Aviv.
The bomber killed 13, including her 21-year-old brother, Asaf Wax.
"It's a very emotional experience, seeing all the men and women with only one arm, one leg," said Norman Katzenborg, 68, of Newport News, Va.
He and his brother-in-law, Kenneth Fallen, 50, flew to New York on Thursday to make the bicycle trip.
They went up to their hotel room and looked out upon an unexpected view.
"We looked down and saw ground zero. It's just unbelievable," Mr. Katzenborg said.
The weekend's ride included firefighters and police from New York City and the D.C. area.
At its conclusion, Arlington County firefighters presented a plaque of the Pentagon with an American flag draped off its roof and a firefighter's helmet to New York City firefighters.
The plaque was a surprise. New York firefighter Dan Rowan cried as he peeled off his T-shirt, emblazoned with the names of 11 dead firefighters, and gave it to the Arlington department.
A nearby Arlington firetruck had hoisted a giant U.S. flag at the end of its 75-foot ladder.
"I want to see that forever," said Mr. Rowan, "I lost 51 of my best friends."
"There is a bond here," said Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat. "The real tower of strength in this county are the way the people responded to this attack."
"One year ago today, this was a battlefield," said Charles S. Able, an assistant secretary from the Department of Defense.
Families and friends gathered along a broad corridor of cyclists in their red-white-and-blue shirts. They displayed handmade signs to attract attention from cyclists from New Jersey, New York, California and other states.
Montgomery County police Detective Donald Freitag, 51, was among the riders, cheered on by his wife, Donna, 47, who said, "He's doing this for the cause. I love him."
Next to her were Pam and Steve Dochter of Lancaster, Pa.
He is a truck driver and she works with surgeons, and that is why they brandished a cardboard sign: "Way To Go Dr. Burlingame."


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