By: Melissa Toupin
It's been almost eleven years since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Today hundreds of veterans wounded in the war that followed made their way to Providence. Their ride leads up to a 9/11 memorial ceremony at the state house tomorrow.
For First Sergeant Robert Ferrara the road to recovery means getting on a bike. The Cranston native was hit by a road side bomb while serving in Iraq in 2007. He suffered a shoulder injury and a traumatic brain injury. Then, when he got home, Ferrara dealt with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
"This is group therapy at its best; talking to other fellow wounded warriors, civilians, people who relate," said Ferrara.
Today Ferrara joined more than 200 cyclists, including other wounded veterans, and their on a journey that will take them 330 miles from Massachusetts to New York. It's part rehab, part raising awareness.
"We're wounded but we're not incapacitated," said Ferrara. "There's a lot that we can do…It's something that we can do as a sport to still feel good about ourselves," said Ferrara.
The 6 day ‘Ride to Recovery' began early this morning in Quincy, MA. This afternoon the cyclists left Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, and a few hours later arrived in Providence, RI.
Today's ride is just one day before the anniversary of 9/11.
"September 11th is the day that the towers fell," said Ferrara. "But pretty much every day that we live we always remember the guys that we served with that fell. That's tougher."
Tomorrow the wounded veterans will take part in a memorial ceremony at the RI State House.
Ferrara says he will use it as motivation to keep moving forward.
"You feel tired. You feel that you don't want to keep going, and you look at those guys. They gave the ultimate sacrifice, and if they could do that I could pedal a little bit further, a little bit harder or give someone a helping hand along the way," said Ferrara.