Curator Tells Story Behind FDNY ‘Dream Bike’ Memorial

Curator Tells Story Behind FDNY ‘Dream Bike’ Memorial

The "Dream Bike" on display in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. (Photo by Jin Lee)

At 27 years old, Gerard Baptiste, a firefighter with New York City Fire Department, Ladder 9, developed an interest in motorcycles. In the summer of 2001, he purchased his first bike, a fixer-upper, and brought it to his East Village firehouse where he intended to work on its restoration. The bike sat in the firehouse and its beat-up condition became a running joke among Baptiste’s fellow firefighters.

After Baptiste’s death on 9/11, the surviving members of his company took on the project of restoring the bike. With support from enthusiasts across the country, the 1979 Honda was transformed into a memorial motorcycle now known as the "Dream Bike."

After touring the country, the Dream Bike is now on view in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It sits as a memorial to Baptiste and others from his firehouse, as well as all of the FDNY responders who gave their lives on 9/11.

Listen to the 9/11 Memorial Museum Director of Collections Amy Weinstein tell the story of the evolution of the Dream Bike from a rundown motorcycle into a stunning memorial.

(Audio)

By 9/11 Memorial Staff