Runners Gather in Annapolis to Honor Heroes
More than 600 runners gathered at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Sunday to take part in the Travis Manion Foundation's 9/11 Heroes Run.
The 9/11 Heroes Run is held in memory of those who lost their lives protecting our country and to honor those who are still protecting us such as fire fighters, police officers and U.S. Military personnel. The run is currently being held in 30 cities across America and also in Afghanistan, England, Guam and Iraq, according to the organization's website.
The run raises money for the Travis Manion Foundation.
Tom and Janet Manion started receiving checks in the mail after the loss of their son Travis Manion to enemy sniper fire in Iraq in late April of 2007. Vowing to donate every penny to causes that encourage service and love of country, the Manion’s donated more than $100,000 to various organizations and the Travis Manion Foundation was born, according to the event website.
Today the Travis Manion foundation operates a Character Does Matter Leadership program, an Honor the Fallen program that offers Challenge Grants and Fellowship pairings and the 9/11 Heroes Run each September 11th.
Along with the Manion family were two other Gold Star families who were there in memory of their sons who had given their lives for our freedom. Paula Davis spoke of her son Pfc. Justin Davis who lost his life in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan in 2006. Davis said that he would often tell her of the 50-mile marches he would have to do carrying 100 pounds of gear, uphill in the snow. She laughed and said that she imagined he would tell her that a 5K run was not that hard and that she should man up and just run.
Kevin Looney the father of Navy Seal Brendan Looney who lost his life on September 21, 2010 in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan spoke of the three boys who did not live for themselves, but instead lived their lives in service to others. Brendan and Travis were roommates and the best of friends while at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Runners of all levels participated in the 5K run, many of them wearing “Team Travis & Brendan” t-shirts or T-shirts honoring Justin Davis. A family “fun-run” of 1-mile was also held at the same time.
To find out more about The Travis Manion Foundation visit the website at http://www.travismanion.com/.