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MISAWA, Japan — Calling all bike enthusiasts: Koushin’s Cruiserz, a local motorcycle club at Misawa, is looking for riders to join them for the “9/11 Memorial Rally” on Sept. 10 and 11 at the Kamikita Ogawara Campground south of Misawa.

The weekend culminates with a group ride to Momoishi to lay a small wreath at the town’s “Statue of Liberty” in memory of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

But it’s also a tribute in remembrance of all innocent victims of terrorism around the world.

“It’s just to say, ‘Don’t forget what happened — London, the United States, Middle East, Russia,’” said John Russell, a member of Koushin’s Cruiserz. “It’s to remember those people who perished, because they gave their lives for no reason.”

Riders each pay 1,500 yen — or about $14 — to participate in the overnight rally. The fee includes entrance to the campsite and a 9/11 memorial patch designed by the club’s Vic Moss. All proceeds will be donated to the 9/11 memorial funds in New York and Washington, D.C., Russell said.

The club welcomes any and all riders to join the rally, Russell said — Japanese and American.

“It doesn’t matter what you ride, as long as you ride,” he said.

The 9/11 memorial patch has already been a big fund-raiser for club members, Russell said. They’ve raised about $2,000, mostly from sales off base, which they’ve donated to Toys for Tots.

The club’s 15 members also support a local orphanage and are planning a back-to-school clothes drive for the children later this summer, Russell said.

To join the 9/11 Memorial Rally or donate to the clothes drive, call 090-1397-3534, or e-mail: wilee69_117@hotmail.com. Check the club’s Web site at www.koushins.net or more information.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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