• Jacksonville woman who lost brother in 9/11 attacks holds memorial ride to fallen

    By: Russel Colburn , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville sister of a firefighter killed responding to the South Tower of the World Trade Center held a memorial bike ride to all the victims who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

    "It may be 18 years ago, but it's still today," said Valerie Gambino, who lost her big brother, Thomas Gambino Jr. that day.


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    "There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him," Gambino said.  "The impact to the family is daily."

    Valerie knew she had to do something to honor not just her brother, but all those who lost their lives that day and the years to follow to sickness.

    Wednesday, they rode in their honor.

    They left from Engine 15 Wednesday evening for a round trip to and from Mickler's Landing.  It was a 22-mile ride to honor the fallen.

    Valerie has become active with Project Hero.

    "You take that tragedy and you turn it into something where you're able to help others and give others hope and allow others to regain hope and to move forward," Gambino said.

    More than a dozen riders came out Wednesday.  Gambino hopes next year's ride is even bigger.

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