An­napo­lis 9/11 He­roes Run draws crowds to 5K, mile events

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Me­gan Brock­ett

On Sun­day, Kat Stol­berg climbed into her heavy pro­tec­tive fire­fighter’s gear — jacket, pants and bright yel­low hel­met — as she had done count­less times be­fore.

This time there was no fire to put out, no emer­gency to ad­dress. Stol­berg, 44, of Fred­er­ick, was get­ting ready for the An­napo­lis 9/11 He­roes Run.

On a balmy af­ter­noon, Stol­berg crossed the fin­ish line in full fire­fighter’s gear, car­ry­ing an Amer­i­can flag over her shoul­der .

for­mer Fred­er­ick County fire­fighter of 10 years who now vol­un­teers, Stol­berg said she took part in Sun­day’s race with her fam­ily to mark the 15th an­niver­sary of the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks, and to show sup­port to first re­spon­ders and mem­bers of the mil­i­tary.

“We need to keep [alive] the mem­ory of ev­ery­body that died and [show sup­port for those] still fight­ing for our free­dom,” Stol­berg said.

Some1,500 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated in the 9/11 He­roes Run, a 5K race and a 1-mile fam­ily fun run that started and ended in the park­ing lot of Navy-Ma­rine Corps Me­mori- al Sta­dium.

The race, in its eighth year in An­napo­lis, was staged by the Travis Man­ion Foun­da­tion.

Man­ion, a 2004 grad­u­ate of the Naval Academy, was killed by a sniper in Iraq in April 2007 while serv­ing as a Ma­rine.

The foun­da­tion, which sup­ports vet­er­ans and fam­ily mem­bers of those killed dur­ing ser­vice, holds races in about 55 lo­ca­tions through­out the world around the Sept. 11 an­niver­sary.

The foun­da­tion aims to bring com­mu­ni­ties to­gether, and to con­nect the small per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion that serves in the mil­i­tary and the first re­spon­ders with the rest of the com­mu­nity, An­napo­lis race di­rec­tor Dave Pa­pak said.

Pa­pak, a re­tired Ma­rine Corps bri­gadier gen­eral, urged the crowd of run­ners and on­look­ers dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony to thank a first re­spon­der.

“It’s a very spe­cial day to be an Amer­i­can, a very spe­cial day in our coun­try, and we never want to for­get why we’re here this af­ter­noon,” Pa­pak said.

Duke Roach, a 19-year-old ju­nior at the Naval Academy, said his whole bri­gade took part in the race. The event is a chance for them to re­mem­ber a “very sig­nif­i­cant event Be­fore the start of the an­nual 911 He­roes Run at the Navy-Ma­rine Corps Memo­rial Sta­dium, Col. Tom Man­ion speaks about his son, Travis Man­ion, a Ma­rine killed in Iraq in 2007, in our lives,” he said.

The Sept. 11 at­tacks are the rea­son Roach and a lot of his class­mates en­rolled in the Naval Academy, he said.

The fact that the race hon­ors a Naval Academy grad­u­ate who was killed in com­bat is an­other rea­son so many mid­ship­men take part in the run, Roach said.

He said Man­ion rep­re­sents the best qual­i­ties young menand women in Amer­ica have to of­fer: he was self­less and gave the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice.

“I think we can all re­spect that,” Roach said. “We look up to him a lot.”

Man­ion’s fa­ther, Tom Man­ion, ad­dressed the crowd be­fore the start of Sun­day’s race.

Man­ion, a re­tired Ma­rine Corps colonel, called the race in An­napo­lis and the others around the coun­try a sign of “the re­siliency of who we are as Amer­i­cans.”

One of the last times Man­ion spoke with his son, he said, Travis gave him a hat with the words “9/11 Never For­get,” on the back, and told Tom Man­ion to wear it and “know this is what we’re fight­ing for.”

“For us as a fam­ily, we’ve never for­got­ten,” Tom Man­ion said. “I know for us as a coun­try, we’ll never for­get.”


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.