TERRE HAUTE —
Flags waved in honor of the fallen, as the grateful walked laps to remember.
Hundreds gathered outside Indiana State University’s Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning, as the third annual Wabash Valley Run for the Fallen got under way with a 5K race. Organizer Olivia Goulding said more than 100 runners participated in the race, which concluded just before the 9 a.m. flag ceremony.
“I think we had quite a big turnout for our first 5K,” she said.
Flags bearing the names of each American service member killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq line the stadium’s trail, where they will remain through Aug. 27. Participants are encouraged to walk the trail in their honor, logging the miles walked on the group’s website, www.wvrunfor
Lt. Col. Brad Spice, U.S. Army retired, told those gathered of the ongoing commitment to America’s troops.
“Wednesday evening, we placed 6,574 flags around the mile track. Thursday we added another five, and yesterday another two,” he said, noting the group wanted to ensure that each fallen American warrior was included, even those who died just recently.
Members of the Jr. ROTC programs at Terre Haute North and South Vigo high schools presented the American flag as part of the program as Dona Griffin, mother of the late Sgt. Dale Griffin, offered the invocation.
“… We know that freedom is not free and sometimes it is necessary to take up arms in defense of our country,” she said, praying for wisdom on behalf of the nation’s leaders, and peace for the families of those lost.
Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said the sheer volume of flags, each bearing a name, was striking.
“When you walk around and see all these flags, it really impacts you,” he said, pointing out this display only represents those lives lost in America’s most recent conflicts. “Thank a veteran. When you run across someone who has served, be mindful of that.”
Goulding said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan really hit home to her as troops her own age were being killed. Studying the Revolutionary War, and even Vietnam, in school just isn’t the same as knowing the people involved personally, she remarked.
“This has made war a reality for me,” she said.
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or email@example.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
Flags waved in honor of the fallen, as the grateful walked laps to remember.
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