What an honor to have been able to participate and see how these young men and women honor the Fallen Heroes of Arkansas. Sadly they had to add extra miles this year so the run actually lasted from Friday morning until the afternoon on Sunday. They would run typically from 6:30 am (around there) and run until around dinner time. They would get up the next morning and do it all again. They would have new runners every 6 miles to take over and give the first set of runners a break to rest up and re-hydrate. They would run carrying flags for the military branches and the USA along with the Fallen Hero they are honoring at the next stop.
They would run and each mile marker they came to they would stop, read a short bio of the Fallen Hero, place the flag with the picture of the Fallen Hero and the bio on one side and a picture that a child from a local AR elementary or middle school drew on the back side in the ground where it will remain all year. Once the flag is placed, the runners who are standing at attention the entire time of this stop, they would salute the Fallen Hero. Each runner gave me a hug and shook Tebo's hand before continuing their run.
Something we learned while there on Friday is that these flags and pictures/bio cards are maintained all year where they remain. If they happen to be in front of someones home, those home owners take care of and maintain these memorials throughout the year. There are some spots that have multiple memorials at the same location and they are all maintained throughout the year. That made me feel humbled and proud at the same time. Americans are truly good people and they care about our military. We saw evidence of this Friday and many other times as well. It definitely makes you proud to call this country home.
This run started in Altus, AR and ended up at the AR State Capitol in Little Rock, AR. to complete a 140 mile run to honor all the Fallen Heroes of Arkansas. It truly was a sight to behold and to say we were honored by this show of respect and remembrance is an understatement.
The mission of the Arkansas Run for the Fallen is to raise awareness for the native Arkansans who fought and died supporting the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Their purpose is also to provide support, hope, and healing to families grieving the death of a loved one in military service regardless of relationship or circumstance of death. They support organizations that enable the healing process for Arkansas residents whose lives have been affected by the GWOT. I encourage you to check out their website at www.arkansasrunforthefallen.org to see all the work these folks do. They will have photos from previous runs as well as the run they are doing this weekend.
Next year Tebo and I would like to be more involved and hopefully sponsor these runners and this effort as well as attend the ceremony in Little Rock.
I have pictures we took on Friday at mile 10 at the Johnson County line where Chad's spot was in the link below through Snap Fish. You can also go to YouTube and search under AR Run for the Fallen and you can see video of the stops along the way of some of these heroes they were honoring and I would imagine a video of the closing ceremony in Little Rock as well. The video of them honoring one of the Fallen will give you a glimpse into what these runners do for each and every Fallen Hero in the state of AR. It would be my hope that all states will begin to have runs like this to bring awareness and show honor to these Fallen Heroes and the support to their loved ones. It is truly something you will never forget.
To view our pictures from Friday, March 14, 2014 just click on this link at http://www2.snapfish.com/snapfish/fe/l=en_US/p/Organizer/AlbumID=11764550007/s_c=0/s_mvm=MVM/s_se=FDR/s_pt=GFT,POS,PSP,REP,PMB,JWL,GEN,PL2,HMB,MMB,HRS,PO2,CAL,CR2,DMB,PRE,CBG,PC4,SLM/s_st=RegReqEu#state=%7B%22pl%22%3A%7B%22uc%22%3A2%2C%22aid%22%3A11765713007%2C%22vp%22%3A%22g%22%2C%22sb%22%3A5%7D%2C%22ovm%22%3A%7B%22v%22%3A%22s%22%7D%7D.
Thank you to all that make this run happen each year.