Au during the month ofSeptember, nearly 90 races around the world are honor those who have served and continue to serve the United States.
This is called the 9/11 Heroes Run 5K racing series. And since 2008, the races, organized by the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) each September, honored the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, in addition to the veterans, military and first responders who continue to serve the United States and communities to date.
9/11 Heroes Run 5K in Philadelphia, PA on September 12, 2021. (Travis Manion Foundation)
It started 13 years ago with a run in Doylestown, Pa., Ryan Manion, president of the Travis Manion Foundation, told Fox News.
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The races were originally inspired by Manion's brother, 1st Lt. Travis Manion , who was killed by an enemy sniper in Iraq in April 2007 while shooting wounded teammates to safety.
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9/11 5K Heroes Run Course in Charleston, SC on September 11, 2021. (Travis Manion Foundation)
Before his last tour of Iraq, Travis Manion visited the New York City Fire Department Rescue Company 1, which lost almost all of itsmen on September 11.
When he returned from his visit, Ryan Manion remembered Travis saying: This is why we are here. That 's why we are fighting there. "
The foundation now strives to carry on " the legacy of selfless service and leadership embodied by Travis and all who have served, or continue to serve, our nation, "the Travis Manion Foundation website reads.
This September, 20 years after September 11, there are now nearly 90 races around the world with over 60,000 participants showing these brave men and women "their service matters," explained Ryan Manion.
"We always say these 5Ks are definitely over than a simple race, "she said. " This is how we can bring people together every year to remember the sacrifices. "
9/11 Heroes Run 5K in Charleston, SC on September 11. 11 2021. (Travis Manion Foundation)
There is a very small "group of individuals raising their right hand, whether they are military, firefighters, police, first responders, and they take an oath to serve and defend us "and that 's important as long as the country recognizes it, said Ryan Manion.
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Jessica Ross got involved in the foundation in 2018, about 17 years after her brother was killed in the September 11 attacks. It wasn't until she got involved in the foundation that her outlook on life changed.
"I had such a kind of victim mentality, poor me, I lost my brother. I can't get over it. It 's something to me. 'has changed, "Ross told Fox News. "And when I found TMF [Travis Manion Foundation], they had it reversed for me. It wasn't such a negative thing anymore, it turned positive because of the community they have. created and support that goes with their community. "
9/11 Heroes Run 5K race in Philadelphia, Pennslyvannia, September 12, 2021. (Travis Manion Foundation)
Ross is now section chief for the foundation in Charleston, Sout h Carolina, where she extends the organization's mission to veterans, civilians or family members who have lost service members or first responders by creating community service projects, youth mentorships and social gatherings.
" They don't deserve to be be forgotten, "Ross said. " They deserve to be talked about. So, yes, even if it is difficult, although I still speak about it with emotion, I will never let their legacy fade. "
Those who wish to participate still have the time to register to join a 5K online.