By: Sandra Thompson
It is time once again to “Honor the Fallen while Challenging the Living!”
Join us on September 8, 2018, for the 4th annual 9/11 Heroes Run! Our run is just part of the bigger effort on behalf of the Travis Manion Foundation to unite communities internationally with one goal – to never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of September 11. Also, we want to honor our veterans, first responders, civilians, and military forces, who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars since. Just who is Travis Manion, the man who made the statement, “If not me, then who?” Why do we run to honor him and many other members of a club nobody wants to join?
Travis Manion grew up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and was known for his strong leadership qualities, athleticism, and academic achievement. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, he was awarded a commission to the United Marine Corps, and after finishing at the top of his class at The Basic School in Quantico, VA, Travis was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. with whom he deployed to Iraq for his first tour of duty.
In 2006, Travis was selected, as an experienced Iraq War veteran from 1st Recon Battalion, to become part of a military transition team (MiTT) with 10 other Marines that would train and partner with an Iraqi Army Battalion in Fallujah, Iraq. On April 29, 2007, 1st Lt. Travis Manion, his fellow Marines and Iraqi Army counterparts were ambushed while searching a suspected insurgent house in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. Leading the counterattack against the enemy forces, Travis was fatally wounded by an enemy sniper while aiding and drawing fire away from his wounded teammates. Travis Manion made the ultimate sacrifice that day. His selfless actions allowed every member of his patrol to survive. For his actions, Travis was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Valor. His legacy continues to grow through the work of Travis Manion Foundation, inspiring people to live with character and make an impact by serving others.
A large portion of the funds raised through the 9/11 Heroes Run is invested back into the race communities to support local veterans, first responders, troops, and military families. The remaining proceeds support the Travis Manion Foundation; from the previous three races over, $6,700 has been donated back to the Veterans Museum for various programs.
This year every 9/11 Heroes Run event will have a ruck division, and if you register for that division, you’ll receive a special Travis Manion GORUCK patch. (Ruck is short for ruscksack or backpack.) Our run, which begins and ends at the Alabama Veterans Museum, will start at 7:00 a.m. Our guest speaker this year will be Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks. Please help us get the word out about the race. For more information, contact the museum at 256-771-7578 or Whitney Hollingsworth at 256-651-7507. For information about pricing and signup deadlines or to register visit http://www.travismanion.org/?post_type=tmf_911run_race&p=5479#.
Remember, it is not about fitness level or experience but about taking action, uniting, and honoring our heroes!
By: Sandra Thompson
Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum