“If not me, then who?” asked one young soldier. The local hero who inspired many others to enlist didn’t make it home after that. He paid the ultimate sacrifice in 2007.
First Lt. Travis Manion, a LaSalle High School graduate and resident of Doylestown, didn’t get to return home to Greater Philadelphia. Instead, on April 29, 2007, he and his fellow Marines were ambushed while searching a suspected insurgent’s home. Fatally wounded by a sniper while drawing fire away from his comrades, Manion was remembered for his heroic actions with both a Silver Star and a Bronze Star with Valor.
Suffering such a tragic loss, the friends and family of Manion formed the Travis Manion Foundation. Inspired by her son, the now-late mother of Manion, Janet, created the foundation to fulfill a simple mission: “to assist our nation’s veterans and the families of fallen heroes.”
Manion comforted his family prior to his second and final deployment to Iraq with those five small words, “If not me, then who?” which went on to inspire the foundation. He wanted his friends and family to know that if he did not agree to do his part to sustain our freedoms, who would?
The actions of the inspiring foundation will come to the Norristown area as the coordinators bring the “2014 9/11 Heroes Run” locally on Sunday, Sept. 7. Slated to begin at the Montgomery County Courthouse at 9 a.m., all are invited to attend the fundraising efforts for the foundation.
For more on the race, visit the video below:
“A portion of the proceeds raised stay in the host race communities to support local veterans, their families and first responders,” explained the race enrollment website. “The remaining proceeds support the Travis Manion Foundation Challenge Grants, which provide veterans and families of fallen service members support through service-based, team-building events that foster camaraderie and facilitate successful life transitions.”
All ages are invited to participate in the 5K Run or one-mile fun run/walk. Organized 100 percent by local volunteers, the day is planned closely to Sept. 11 to remember all the heroes lost.
“The 9/11 Heroes run unites communities internationally with the goal to never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of Sept. 11, and in the wars since,” said the race site. “Veteran, first responder, civilian and military, join us to raise awareness and honor the fallen.”
Those that register before midnight on Aug. 31 are guaranteed a t-shirt. Participants may enroll as an individual or a team. To register for the day’s event, click here.