9/11 Heroes Run

Coast Guard District 8 NewsSeptember 11, 2011, marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Coast Guard personnel from Air Station Houston participated in a run to honor those who died on that historic day. The race also recognized those who have gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting in subsequent wars to ensure our enduring freedom.

This year’s 5k race was sanctioned by the City of Houston and held at Ellington Field. It featured emergency responders and other participants from the city of Houston, the mayor of Houston, the Houston Police Officer’s Union and the Houston Airport System, the Coast Guard, all branches of the military, and others.

“It was an honor to see our folks participate in a run for such a noble cause,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Craig Potts, command master chief at Air Station Houston. “It was a very uplifting experience to see everyone come together and it was a great time.”

The Heroes Run benefits the Travis Manion Foundation.

Manion, a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Marines and graduate of the Naval Academy, deployed to Iraq on December 26, 2006, for his second tour as part of a Military Transition Team. During his final patrol mission on April 29, 2007, Manion was killed by enemy sniper fire while fighting courageously to defend against an enemy ambush.

According to the foundation, not long after Manion was killed, checks in his memory began appearing at the Manion’s home. In lieu of flowers, checks from all over the country and the world soon amounted to more than $100,000. His parents, Tom and Janet Manion, pledged to give every penny to causes that kept alive the spirit of service and love of country.

The foundation’s website states that it operates three major programs that honor the fallen: Character Does Matter Leadership program, an Honor the Fallen program that offers Challenge Grants and Fellowship pairings, and the 9/11 Heroes Run. The foundation also fund Good Grief seminars, scholarships, and community service projects that benefit wounded and disabled veterans and Families of the Fallen.

The run in Houston had the largest attendance of all the Heroes Run events across the nation, said Houston Mayor Annise Parker at the start of the run. After the canon fired, military units ran in formation alongside police, firefighters, adults, children and parents pushing strollers. There were also aircraft flyovers and an exhibit of various military vehicles.

“To me, it’s very important, because all the Services had a lot to do (with the response to) 9/11,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brad Pigage, a rescue swimmer at Air Station Houston, and winner of the Heroes Run. “I have a ton of respect for all of the firefighters and policemen that were there that day.”

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