EAGLE — To commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Mission43 hosted a Miles of Remembrance 5k in Eagle.
“It is important to never forget what happened and honor those who lost their lives," Brooke Frye, a participant said. "I mean it was 2,977 lives were lost and just honoring all those men and women who sacrificed their lives while everyone was running away, they were running in to save as many people as they could.”
Close to 1,500 people showed up at the Eagle Sports Complex to do just that, honor those who lost their lives that day and in the wars after.
“People are running, walking, and rucking, so they have military rucksacks on their backs," Dan Nelson, Mission43 Engagement Director said. "The main thing is it’s not a Boston qualifier, we are not out here trying to win medals. It is simply how hard do people want to push themselves in honor of this day and the 3,000 Americans that gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and the more than 7,000 that gave their lives since in the global war on terror.”
"I enjoyed the silence just taking a moment to reflect on all the privileges that we have today just being able to be here surrounded by people. It is a luxury, and it is not something that everyone gets to enjoy," Frye said.
Firefighters ran in their gear, families walked hand in hand, and people carried flags for over three miles while reflecting on that day and all who gave their lives.
"There is a lot of us that have lost friends and teammates in the global war on terror and there are survivors here on the course now that were in the south and north tower in New York City on Sept. 11 2001," Nelson said. "So it’s weird how we have nothing in common as far as shared experiences we were in completely different places and faced different dangers at different times, but it is a tight-knit community of people that have actually put their skin in the game in this 20-year war."
Frye ran the 5k while carrying a flag with fallen officer's names on it.
"It was a humbling experience," she said. "No matter the weight of the vest or the pain it is nothing compared to the weight of the flag and my flag it has the names of these are fallen officers. It is just very important."
Nelson hopes events like these keep the memory of 9/11 alive, and those whose lives were lost that day. He also wants it to be a teaching moment for the younger generation that wasn't alive during the attacks.
"It’s a hard thing to broach, but if we don’t talk about it then it becomes a blurb in the history book and that’s something that we aren’t willing to let happen with Sept. 11," he said. "And I think it is so important to me I have two young sons to pass on this legacy and the message of Sept. 11 because remember how unified we were as a country on Sept. 12 and how that becomes an increasingly distant memory, events like this change that."