Presenting of the Colors by Newsome JROTC students with attendees looking onward.

By Jadon Khor

A fifth-year anniversary is one most conventional: with hardy expectations for celebration and an opportunity for comforting times to reflect upon the last years of growth and progress. Alas, this is not a conventional year; COVID-19 has caused the closures of many summer pastimes and suspensions of special events.

Given the longer time it takes to organize social distancing in activities now, many organizations have decided to move their outreach online; however, it comes as a warm welcome that the Travis Manion Foundation has full intentions—if conditions allow—to hold the 9/11 Heroes Run 5K race, ruck and 1M fun run/walk on Saturday, September 12 in person.

The run, inspired by Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who died protecting his battalion, is meant as an annual reminder of the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks and to continue the legacy of character and development.

“To me it’s to remember what the country felt on 9/12,” said Marine Corps veteran and local volunteer race director Beau Higgins.

Of course, tackling concerns over limiting exposure amongst participants remains a top priority for the FishHawk 9/11 Heroes Run. Higgins said the event organizers are actively figuring out effective ways they can ensure social distancing, with some proposals involving solo running. Despite complications that might arise from COVID-19 and social distancing, Higgins said he is confident this year will be able to deliver on a safe Heroes Run.

This also wouldn’t be the first year FishHawk has had to accommodate unforeseen circumstances to host the run. In the five years FishHawk has held the run, the organizers have seen their number of attendees double exponentially and have had to combat weather conditions because of a hurricane.

Though it wouldn’t be 2020 without such unexpected and unforeseen circumstances. Higgins said that even though the plan is to hold the event, he asks residents to remain patient with the organizers and to stay flexible. He also asks the community to still be active in honoring 9/11 heroes and stay engaged in the event, whether or not it’s in person or online.

Nevertheless, Higgins called the run “an opportunity within the FishHawk community,” one that brings people together while memorializing those who have left.

To learn more, search for the FishHawk 9/11 Heroes Run on Facebook.