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Story Archives: Airmen march in remembrance of 9/11
|Airmen march in remembrance of 9/11|
By KELLIE GENTRY
Early morning commuters were greeted Tuesday morning by security forces members carrying a ruck pack (backpack) and a "Defenders of the Force" Air Force flag.
Accompanied by a police escort, the 14th Security Forces Squadron from Columbus, Miss. marched down Highway 84 from Frogmore to Vidalia to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The leg was only a fraction of the entirety of the "Ruck March to Remember," as the overall goal of the 23 units nationwide whose members have volunteered their time to participate in the 2,181-mile march.
They will travel from the Air Force Security Forces Center in San Antonio, Texas through Shanksville, Penn., the site of Flight 93, to Ground Zero in New York City.
Senior Airman Chris Jones said their segment of the journey is 160 miles. He said he marches in memory of those who cannot.
"They are people that sacrificed and can't feed their families, he said. "A couple miles here and there, it takes a toll of the feet, but I'm still able to do it."
Each of the 10 security forces members from Columbus made the trek in military uniform carrying their unit's flag in 15-minute, one mile tradeoffs.
The march arrived in the central Louisiana area in Alexandria on July 24 and is set to appear in Brookhaven on Thursday, July 28. The unit has been headquartered at the Riverview RV Park in Vidalia during their stay.
"The entire event is to remember the people who lost their lives on 9/11 and since then--whether it be civilians, military—just people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country," Airman 1ST class Chase Hedrick said.
Both men gleamed of positivity when talking about the event, a sense of pride established through the amount of support they have received.
Jones said their biggest support has been city and law enforcement officials, but encouragement from residents is also greatly appreciated.
Jones recalled seeing a little boy standing in the median in Jonesville, waiving a flag.
"That was just touching—knowing that this is what we do. This is what we are fighting for," he said.
Residents visited with the unit at the RV park Wednesday night, July 28, before the changeover ceremony n Brookhaven on Thursday.
"It makes you feel so good, knowing that someone supports you and is there for you," Jones said.
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