February 28, 2014 --
More than 20 Marines gathered outside the Leesburg, Ga., Courthouse to honor and remember service members and first responders during the second annual 9/11 Heroes Run held Saturday.
The Marines, representing Marine Corps Logistics Command and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, did so in a simple, but familiar way - they ran in formation.
Two runs were held Saturday: a .911- kilometer “fun run” and a 9.11-kilometer, or 5.66-mile run, which the platoon of Marines ran.
The overall winner of the 5.66-mile run was John Kilpatrick, 19:03.2 and the overall female winner was Elena Oslund, 19:41.5.
Lt. Gen. Mark Faulkner, deputy commandant, Installations and Logistics, Headquarters Marine Corps, who also participated in the 5.66-mile run, and Col. Don Davis, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, were among the guest speakers.
Davis acknowledged the communities’ efforts in supporting the warfighter.
“It is by the hands of the local artisans, craftsmen and production plant workers that Marine Corps equipment is brought in, overhauled and sent back out to the operating forces, to that individual Marine in harm’s way or in training abroad and in defense of our nation,” he said. “It is only fitting that we run, here, today on behalf of the 5,000 Marines, sailors, and civilian-Marines aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.”
Faulkner said to those in attendance, “freedom comes at a price.”
“Today in Afghanistan, about 6,500 Marines are operating in the southern portion of the country,” Faulkner said. “They are partnering with and training Afghan Military Forces so they can provide the same security and freedoms that we enjoy here in America. Their relationship and bravery is on display daily.”
During his speech, Faulkner spoke about “heroes such as 1st Lt. Travis Manion,” whom the race was named after.
Manion was killed in action April 29, 2007, in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, saving two of his Marines. He was killed by an enemy sniper and awarded the nation’s third highest medal for valor, the Silver Star, posthumously.
Manion’s mother established the Travis Manion Foundation to honor the families of other fallen veterans and active-duty service members.
Volunteered to run with the platoon of Marines was Cpl. James Ethridge, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Military Personnel, MCLB Albany.
“I volunteered to run because I wanted to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and support the community,” he said.