Fifty-three police officers—with many hailing from New Jersey—attended Jewish National Fund-USA’s 9/11 annual ceremony held at its Living Memorial in the foothills of Jerusalem on Monday, Sept. 11.
The officers were in Israel as part of the Police Unity Tour, an organization that holds bicycle rides throughout the U.S. and Israel to raise awareness about police officers killed in the line of duty.
Other notable attendees included: U.S. Marines, representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Israel, Israeli firefighters, diplomats from around the world, those who had lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks and more than 200 high school students attending Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
A reciprocal delegation of Israeli police officers traveled to New York and participated in New York City’s official 9/11 ceremony.
The group leader of the Police Unity Tour’s visit to Israel, Mike Safris, Chief of Essex County Sheriff Office, Deputy Division, said, “This is the eighth time the group has visited Israel, and our participation in the 9/11 memorial service is very meaningful for our group.”
The Police Unity Tour was created back in 1997 by Florham Park, NJ, Police Officer Patrick Montuore, who had a simple idea: organize a four-day bicycle ride from New Jersey to Washington, D.C. to raise public awareness about law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, and to ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten. With that, the Police Unity Tour was formed, and today, the movement spans across the U.S. and also organizes international rides such as the one through Israel.
Every year, the Jewish National Fund-USA hosts an annual 9/11 ceremony, paying tribute to the victims of 9/11 at its memorial in Jerusalem. Broadcast globally on social media, the ceremony and monument are a timeless reminder of the shared values and mutual solidarity between Israel and the United States.