September 1, 2010
Middlebury, Ind. – Jayco, Inc. will host the Tour of Duty Run as it makes its way through Middlebury around 8:30 AM on Friday, September 3, 2010.
The Tour of Duty Run will be traveling across Northern Indiana the evening of September 2 and throughout the day on September 3, 2010. The Tour of Duty is a group of runners that consists of firefighters and emergency service workers from the US and Australia. The service workers began their run from Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, CA and will end at Ground Zero in New York, NY on September 11, 2010 to honor all the victims of the September 11th attacks in 2001.
Jayco, a major sponsor of the Run, will host a breakfast for the runners and will involve the local Chamber of Commerce, Town Council and fire department during the event. Below are facts and history about the Tour of Duty.
THE FACTS - TOUR OF DUTY
On September 11, 2001, the world watched as one, in shock, as a series of coordinated suicide attacks were launched upon the United States. On that morning 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet liners, two of which were intentionally crashed into the Twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania after passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the plane. American Airlines Flights 11 and 77, United Airlines Flight 175 and 93 had become the weapons of destruction for the terrorists. There were no survivors from any of the flights.
The death toll of the attacks was 2,973. Overwhelmingly the majority of casualties were civilians, representing the citizens of over 90 countries.
As the chaos erupted at the World Trade Centre, as civilians fled in search of safety, instinctively wanting to survive, the Emergency Service Workers of New York City responded to the scene, they willingly walked in to fulfill their duty, to serve their community.
A total of 411 emergency service workers lives were taken as they responded to the scene. The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost 343 Fire-fighters. The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers. The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers, and 8 additional Emergency Medical Paramedics from Private Emergency Medical Support units were killed. The City of New York had suffered immensely, the attacks had an immediate and overwhelming effect on the people of this City and the people of America, this was a crime against humanity.
The Tour of Duty Run is a journey that will end in New York City, early on the morning of September 11, 2010. The fire-fighters and emergency service workers of America and Australia will come together as allies to remember our fallen colleagues, our brothers and sisters, our family.
We run to remember them. First and foremost is our purpose and intent, is to honor their sacrifice, respect their courage, and appreciate their commitment to service and devotion to duty. To remember them and their humanity. We also undertook this journey with an understanding that so many people have suffered and are suffering to this day, the survivors, the loved ones left behind, the workers involved in reclaiming the World Trade Centre Site, the families, friends and co-workers of the passengers and crews of the American Airlines and United Airlines Flights, the emotional and physical scars of this attack are devastating and potentially far more reaching than we can imagine. It has changed our world, irreversibly, forever.
It is our duty to remember what happened on September 11 and reinforce all that is good about humanity.
We also see the run as an opportunity to acknowledge emergency services globally. Every day on every continent people are giving of their lives, risking their lives so our world can be a safer place. The military, police, fire and medical services represent just some of the people that give of themselves, so others may live a better life, their service can never be underestimated.
Our journey began on August the 12th, where we started to run from the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles at 8.46 a.m. We ask you to share our journey, to remember with us, our family, the people that have suffered and are suffering still, and the people globally that have served and will continue to serve to make our world a better place. Share this run, via the web and if we happen to be anywhere near your ballpark, fill your shoes and share the load, run with us and remember.
HISTORY - TOUR OF DUTY
On Thursday August 12th 2010 at precisely 8:46 AM the Tour of Duty run made its way from the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles, aiming to arrive in New York City on September 11th, 4,600 miles and 31 days later, it is a journey that we are very much looking forward to.
The beginnings of this run, this event, go back many years. The Melbourne members of the Tour of Duty team have been participating in, and organizing road running events since 1983, claiming the World record for marathon relay road running while circumnavigating Australia in 1983 (15,600KMs), then again in 1991, increasing that record to 17,500KMs. It is a long and proud History.
More recently members of this group have participated in the organization and running of the "ANZAC" runs, 2005, 2006 and 2007, from The Australian War Museum in Canberra to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 1,100 Kms covered in three days, culminating on Anzac Day. The Anzac (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) runs were held to pay respect to the fallen soldiers that have given of their lives to defend our country and heritage. A natural progression of these runs was "The Great Anzac Run" (visit www.thegreatanzacrun.com), the groups first International run, an event to raise awareness of "The Anzac Spirit" this run conducted in 2008, covered over 4,000kms, from Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, Turkey to The Australian War Memorial, Hyde Park Corner London. More so than ever, as much as these events are about raising financial funds to assist people in need, there was also an emotional attachment, the awareness. To have run from Gallipoli and traveled through France, to have witnessed the battlefields, the cemeteries and monuments, to see first hand the sacrifices these people made decades before, to see the love and respect that these people are still accorded to this very day, to see Australia’s History overseas and the impact that the service of ordinary people, thrown into extraordinary circumstances made on the World was all at once, a humbling and proud experience.
This journey through Europe could not have been achieved without the assistance of the global community of fire-fighters; it is a family like no other. Throughout Europe we shared the hospitality and kindness of fire-fighters that made that event possible, we learnt that fire-fighters across the globe are so very much alike, in so many ways. Quick to lend a hand, share the load, a joke and a laugh. The willingness to serve and the call to duty is universal.
We also remember that on September 11, 2001, that we sensed and felt the pain of our brothers on the other side of the globe, that part of our family was hurting, that the good people of this World that choose to serve were being transgressed sinfully, tragically. That men and women that answer the call to duty, that live their lives selflessly for others every day, that believe it is their duty is to serve, would fall on this day, would not go home, would leave behind loved ones, would make the ultimate sacrifice. It is this awareness of family and the understanding of the wider global community of people that sacrifice their lives through service that initiated The Tour of Duty.
The Tour of Duty Run is an emotional statement. It is the coming together of Australian and American fire-fighters, police officers, military personnel and emergency service workers. We run to remember the people of 9-11, to honor their sacrifice, their courage, their devotion and commitment to duty. Every step of this run is a part of our statement, however humble, that their commitment to duty, to service, will never be forgotten.
We run. We remember.