Honoring first responders killed in the line of duty, the 2020 Brotherhood Ride kicked off Thursday morning.
Thirty-six first responders from around the state rode for our fallen heroes killed in 2019.
Riding for the first time was Lt. Greg Bueno with Florida Highway Patrol, who joined to honor Master Sgt. Daniel Hinton.
Hinton collapsed during a training exercise in February 2019 and died in the hospital. He served more than three decades with FHP.
We looked at the 500-mile journey first responders took for the cause. Men and women put on different uniforms to honor 25 brothers and sisters who died on the job.
To do this job and know that 25 of your coworkers — fire, EMS, law enforcement — are no longer here because during the daily grind they lost their life in one way or another, that’s tragic,” Bueno said. “We would do anything to get them back.”
But they cannot be brought back, so those who can hit the road 500 miles north in their honor.
“We want to make sure that we expressed to everybody we did not forget, and we continue to respect honor and love those that have served our communities before,” Bueno said.
Each Bueno mile logs, he’ll think of fellow trooper Hinton.
“Just a great, great man,” Bueno said. “What he did and what he stood for, and he was an honorable first responder that we all looked up to respected and we miss every day.”
The camaraderie between first responders is strong. There were those who came from near a far to join the 2020 Brotherhood ride.
“There was someone here from Germany, so it really shows the true brotherhood of first responders,” State Attorney Amira Fox said. “How much they care about each other and each other’s families, even when they didn’t know the person who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all.”
It’s never easy to wear a badge. The brave people who ride for their fallen brothers and sisters know every day they go to work could be their last. They serve with pride and honor in good and tough times.
“There’s a lotta good people here with good hearts. We do the job for a reason because we care,’ Bueno said. “One of the things that we must always do is never forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and that’s what we’re doing here today.”
The 2020 Brotherhood Ride raises money for the families of those lost. After the ride, the cyclists meet with loved one and deliver the money raised. Anyone interested in making a donation can visit the Brotherhood Ride website.