By Janet Manion
Before leaving for his last tour in Iraq in late 2006, my son U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion spent a day with Rescue One in New York City — the first responder team that lost nearly all its men on 9/11. After a day of sharing stories from that tragic day, Travis came home even more inspired to serve our country. He gave his father a Rescue One baseball cap embroidered with the words “9/11 Never Forget” and asked him to wear it while he was gone. Travis told him, “Remember, this is what we’re fighting for.”
Less than four months later, Travis was tragically killed by enemy fire in Fallujah. After his death, our family vowed to never let Americans forget the sacrifice of so many on 9/11 and since. We have done so by creating the Travis Manion Foundation and the 9/11 Heroes Run in our son’s honor. The mission of our foundation is to assist our nation’s military community and the families of fallen heroes.
Our goal to grow the 9/11 Heroes Run nationwide, to allow Americans community by community to run, volunteer, donate, cheer, but most of all honor and remember the men and women who serve and protect us every day is becoming a reality thanks to the great people at the General Motors Foundation and at Chevrolet who are committed to the American values demonstrated by our men and women in uniform.
As our country nears the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, today, General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson announced a donation of $250,000 to the Travis Manion Foundation on behalf of the General Motors Foundation and Chevrolet to support the 2011 9/11 Heroes Run. This year’s Run consists of more than 25 races in cities and towns across the United States plus races in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guam and ships at sea. All proceeds benefit our nation’s veterans and military families.
We hope people from across the country will participate in the 9/11 Heroes Run this year to honor, remember and draw strength from the examples of service that so many of these American heroes demonstrated.
To learn more about the 9/11 Heroes run and to register for a race near you, please visit: www.911heroesrun.com.