Today is the one year anniversary of the shooting deaths of 5 fallen heroes in Chattanooga, Tennessee – Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells and Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith. Our hometown hero – Dennis Pedigo was injured on this day one year ago. The Erlanger Hospital Trauma Services sponsored the Chattanooga Heroes Run to commemorate the day that forever changed the lives of so many – showing us that Freedom is NOT free. We are seeing this day in and day out with the events of our world. Once again, Freedom is NOT free! Lives are lost and lives are changed daily in the fight for freedom!
The Chattanooga Heroes Run was phenomenal. Kudos to all who came together to make it happen. What a day! First, I got to be there with friends – running friends, CrossFit friends and people I have known forever. (I have been in the Chattanooga area longer than any other place I have lived!) We all came together for a common cause and reclaimed Chattanooga streets….like in Boston in 2014.
As we ran we were able to thank countless police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, and the families of the fallen. They were spread out along the 5 mile course. One mile for each fallen hero. Moving along the course I was reminded mile after mile that these families made the ultimate sacrifice – they lost someone willing to die for our freedoms. 1300+ of us ran or walked by these families today – strangers to them – but their loved ones died for us. Wow! How powerful is that? They died protecting the great country’s freedoms.
After running Boston 2013 and experiencing the Boston bombings my life was forever changed as well. Events like these are never easy because you realize some of that freedom has been taken away. As I run…I think about safety things I have never thought of before – I wonder about the what-ifs – I second guess my decision to be in a large crowd! THEN, those feelings change when you see the genuine love and care that the others who are taking part, show to one another – strangers in the crowd. There are more of us than them!
We need to remember LOVE!
1 Corinthians 13.4-8
…but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.