Land of The Free Because of the Brave

Sgt. Kirk

Run for the Fallen began in 2008 when a group of dedicated runners ran across America from Fort Irwin, CA to Arlington National Cemetery. Their goal: to run one mile for every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Run for the Fallen Idaho includes fallen heroes from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn, and we gratefully recognize the service and sacrifice of all active duty deaths. Run for the Fallen’s goal is to have all 50 states participating in an annual run or walk of remembrance of the fallen men and women with ties to that state. Each year since the run across America, runners from around the world have joined Run for the Fallen in remembering our fallen. Over 180,000+ miles have been collectively run in remembrance of those fallen since 9/11.

Run for the Fallen Idaho is excited to announce that Honor and Remember will be taking over the Run for the Fallen name, logo and concept that Jon Bellona started in 2008.

For those unfamiliar with Honor and Remember, the organization was started by George Lutz, shortly after his son Tony was killed by a sniper’s bullet while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq on December 29th, 2005. George Lutz's mission was create, establish and promote a nationally recognized flag that would fly continuously as a visible reminder to all Americans of the lives lost in defense of our national freedoms. Currently 17 states have officially adopted the Honor and Remember Flag as their State Symbol of Remembrance, and nearly every other state has either endorsed or is in the process of adopting the flag as the State symbol of Remembrance.

Honor and Remember recently issued the following statement: "To better honor our service members and their families, Run for the Fallen has recently partnered with Honor and Remember."

Mike Gordon, Director for Virginia Run for the Fallen had this to say: "Our goal at Honor and Remember is to incorporate all the Run for the Fallen races to be done the same way." The Virginia RFTF event was held May 1-4th, 2014. Each mile of the Run was dedicated to a VA Hero and the Core Run Team stopped at every Hero Marker (every mile) and presented an American Flag and a personal biographical card to waiting family members, friends and comrades. The intent was to create a 230+ mile long memorial trail through Virginia, ending at Arlington National Cemetery. Ideas for 2015 include a similar relay style run, from California to Arlington with each state represented by teams of core runners.

In light of these changes, Run for the Fallen Idaho will hold its final event on Sunday, July 27th, 8:00 am, on the closing day of Kootenai River Days. We'll end where we started this event in 2011, at the Veteran's Memorial Park in front of the Boundary County Library. The course will be 5k, heading out through town to Riverside Dr. and towards the refuge, approximately 1.5 miles before turning around and coming back to the Park. Walkers, runners, and bikers will be invited to join us one final time as we honor and remember Idaho's fallen heroes. For participants able to complete the course in under 2 hours, an outdoor worship service at the fairgrounds is scheduled for 10am.

We felt very strongly that we should bring the event back to where we started it, not only because it would be the last time we would be involved in organizing the event, but because despite being the smallest community where the event has been held, we had the most community support and participation here.

On a personal level, this was not a difficult decision to make; in fact, knowing that Honor and Remember was taking over made it very easy. While there will be some changes for Idaho's Run for the Fallen event in 2015 and beyond, I have no doubt Honor and Remember will do amazing things, and our family will continue to support and participate, as we are able to, organizations like Honor and Remember that make a difference for Gold Star families.

For anyone interested in participating, registration opens June 2nd, 2014.

Donations also accepted by Papal