BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Day one of an 8-day journey across two states started in Westwego and stopped in Baton Rouge.
"It's not really about us. It's just one more pedal, one more pedal, one more pedal," said Brett Butler, a firefighter from Missouri City.
But this stop wasn't just to recoup for the hundreds of miles ahead in the Texas Brotherhood Ride, but to honor the fallen first responders from Texas and Louisiana who died in 2017.
A ceremony was held at the levee at River Road and Skip Bertman Drive to pay tribute to a member of that group, Lt. Shawn Anderson of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office.
"He's probably in heaven with coffee in one hand and smiling down with a big head because he would absolutely love this," said Becky Anderson, Lt. Anderson's wife.
Becky said her husband appreciated the bond forged with his law enforcement family. However, she never knew they would become an emotional support system for her family to lean on after her husband's passing.
"Shawn used to pick on me and say I lived in a bubble but on March 18 that bubble was popped," Mrs. Anderson said. "Since March 18 we've seen the good, the bad and the ugly, but for the majority, we've seen the absolute best in people," she said.
His wife said speaking from experience, the brotherhood keeps their promise of committing to uplifting the family and she knows for sure, Lt. Anderson would return the favor.
"If the situation was reversed, Shawn would be doing the same thing for someone else," Becky said.
The brotherhood ride of 2018 consists of 31 law enforcement and firemen from several states including Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Florida.
The goal of the ride, according to organizers is to provide emotional and financial support to families of fallen heroes. Organizers said over the last two years, over $40,000 has been donated to families.
The group will leave Baton Rouge Monday traveling to Eunice. They should make it to San Antonino, Texas on June 3rd.
The 11 fallen first responders being honored are:
- Mike Louviere – Westwego Police Department
- Spencer Chauvin – St. John Fire Department
- Shawn Anderson – East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office
- Shannon Brown – Fenton Police Department
- Clint Greenwood – Harris County Precinct 3
- Endy Nddiobong Ekpanya – Pearland Police Department
- Bill “Iron Bill” Dowling – Houston Fire Department
- Steven Whitfield – Houston Fire Department
- Steve Perez – Houston Police Department
- Scott Deem – San Antonio Fire Department
- Miguel Moreno – San Antonio Police Department
According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office Facebook page, the group made it to Houston safely on Thursday, May 31.