Accession Number: C.2018.79.1
Dimensions: 48 in X 97 in
Dimensions (Metric): 121.92 cm X 246.38 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Ted Sjurseth family
Customized 9/11 commemorative Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The bike is painted like an American flag with a Statue of Liberty motif hidden in the blue field of stars. Names of 419 first responders killed on 9/11 are painted on the back of the bike. Printed in the center of the list of names is the "Fallen Heroes" commemorative emblem with printed text: “Sept 11, 2001 World Trade Center | Fallen Heroes,” with the FDNY, NYPD, and PAPD logos in the center and the Twin Towers. The bike has 35 to 40 handwritten signatures all over, including those of Willy G. Davidson, the grandson of Harley-Davidson cofounder William A. Davidson, and Willy's son, Bill Davidson. The license plate on the bike reads: “OURUSA.”
Many motorcyclists established memorial bike rides in response to 9/11. In November 2001, Ted Sjurseth organized a group ride to honor those killed in the attacks. Sjurseth’s initial expedition grew into a yearly event known as America’s 9/11 Ride. Each August, hundreds of motorcyclists travel to the three attack sites, starting at the Flight 93 crash site in Pennsylvania, stopping at the Pentagon, and concluding at the World Trade Center site.
In preparation for these rides, Sjurseth painted the body of his Harley-Davidson to resemble an American flag and added first responders’ names to the rear. Many rescue personnel signed the bike along its route over the years. The annual event raises funds for active first responders and their families nationwide.