Our Impact on Veterans and Gold Star Families: New York Run for the Fallen
This past weekend, our team completed the 6th Annual New York Run for the Fallen. We ran about 150 miles over the course of 3 days across New York to honor military fallen heroes and their families.
Your donations enabled us to purchase Honor and Remember Flags for Gold Star Families. These flags are significant to the families. Sons and daughters and parents recalling stories of their loved one is how we honor and remember.
It is so hard for me to put into words the impact this important Run had on me and everyone who participated in it. The Gold Star Families are so happy to share stories and so thankful that their fallen family members are being remembered.
The emotions experienced during the run are massive compared to the amount of miles run between Syracuse and Albany. Meeting the parents who had to bury their children, the spouses who will not grow old with their husband/wife and the kids who will not have a parent to love and support them was so humbling and overwhelming.
We can never forgot the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice and we must always honor and remember.
My teammate and New York State Chapter Coordinator, Kristi Mangine, wrote so eloquently about our experience, and with permission, I share it with you.
"This year marks the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001. We did our best to also honor and remember the 2977 fallen heroes that died on 9/11.
Do you realize how significant 9/11 is and continues to be?
So many people ask me why we do this year after year? Isn't it too hard to run that far and that many miles? Isn't it too hard to run that many hills? Isn't it too hard and time-consuming to plan? I hear a lot that it is just too hard...
It isn't too hard.
What is hard is watching a mom and dad never being able to hug their child again, never to see her make beautiful art again, never see her get married (like she was planning), never have children...never chase her passion, her dreams...too many nevers.
What is hard is watching a wife never being able to hold the love of their life ever again. Ever. Watching her struggle even after 17 years. She misses her best friend as if it happened yesterday. Too many nevers.
What is hard is seeing babies grow up without their daddy. What do you say to the child that lost his dad in the twin towers when the child was only 23 days old? His dad was doing what he loved...but he loved his children too. Too many nevers.
What is hard is watching a sister struggle through life's adventures alone. Her big brother was her hero and she would give anything to be able to get into trouble with him just one more time. She would give anything to talk to her brother about all the things only the two of them would understand. Too many nevers.
What these families carry is too hard. And they carry the burden every. single. day.
This mission is the least we can do to make sure that these families know that we will not forget their sacrifice.
Freedom comes at a very high price.
And is our DUTY (yes, that means YOU too) to make sure that we NEVER forget the sacrifice that our military and first responders and their families have made for our Nation, for you, and for me.
They gave everything. For you. And for me.
One of our guest speakers said it perfectly, “The best way to honor and remember the sacrifice of those that have come before us is to live the life of an American that they would be proud of.” Col Richard Goldenberg.
That statement is our why.
The mission continues.
What will you do to live the life of an American that our fallen heroes would be proud of?
Thank you to so many for helping us to accomplish the mission to Honor and Remember. Over the next couple of months, we will send thank you's to each of you. None of this would have been possible without the generous sponsors, donors, and volunteers that stepped up and made the decision to never forget.
My heart is full and I am so grateful for this family and my own. We are one team. And together, we run for those that can't.
And God, please, be with each of these fallen families and bring them peace and comfort, especially when the nevers are too many."