In honor of the state’s commemoration of the 12th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Governor Maggie Hassan has directed flags to half-staff and proclaimed today as a Day of Remembrance in honor of the tragic terrorist attacks. She will speak at three commemorative events around the state: the Beech Street School 9/11 Remembrance Program in Manchester, the American Legion Post 33 Patriot Day "We Will Remember" September 11 Commemoration in Meredith, and the American Legion Post 35 Global War on Terrorism Monument Unveiling and Rededication in Hampton.
Our Reach the Beach Relay team wanted to contribute this blog as part of our agency’s support for those who have been affected by these tragedies.It began to honor the Greek triumph over the Persians in 490 b.c. when a lone messenger ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens to deliver one final word before collapsing, “Niki!” (Victory). In 1896, Greece commenced the first Olympic Marathon retracing the 40,000 meter run to celebrate their country’s pride and freedom achieved on that day. In so doing, nine other countries ran alongside in peace including the United States of America. We were able to be a part of that historic event because the Boston Athletic Association sponsored our athletes to be there. Boston has a deeply entrenched roll in endurance events and is filled with symbolic meaning that honors our American history and culture. Even the date of the first Boston Marathon on April 19, 1897 was chosen for Paul Revere’s famous ride on that date in 1775 and to remember what set in motion our independence. Running events have ballooned in popularity recently and themed charity races have popped up everywhere. It is a sport that is easy to become involved with but not necessarily easy to do. We willingly take part in a solo journey beginning with hundreds of hours of training that we dedicate in preparation, and the journey continues with each step that only we can take on race day. Though each of us is simply one runner, when you pan out and view how fast we add up, what a statement! We are individuals that become one unified community when we come together peacefully. Think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who led a peaceful and powerful march on Washington 50 years ago last month. The sheer size of the crowd, 300,000 strong that laid out before and behind him, moved history. Photo from MLive Associated Press, 2010 Photo from ABC News:Hulton Archive/Getty Images
It is only so appropriate to share these thoughts on September 11, a day that will haunt us forever. I remember walking to a freshman orientation rally to hear our school’s President welcome us to Southern New Hampshire University. When I got to the door, a bewildered faculty member said that it had been cancelled, “New York was under attack.” I called my mom immediately as I worked my way to the televisions in the student center. I was on the phone with her at 9:03 AM as she gasped the moment Flight 175 came in behind the CNN reporter and crashed in the South Tower.The same shock set in just as I remember standing with my teammate Kate on the green at Boston’s Commonweath and Massachusetts Ave when the marathon suddenly stopped and police vehicles appeared all around. We were with hundreds of runners who were maybe five minutes away from finishing when the news of the bombings spread; those they loved were eagerly awaiting their victorious finish line crossing. Our phone batteries died as runners desperately tried to reach their children, spouses, parents, and friends. Every extra layer of clothing we had was given away. http://www.runnersworld.com/races/boston-bombings-a-loss-of-innocenceThere is something solemn yet powerful about a lone runner as well; such is the man I passed near Wolfeboro one day this summer holding a pole with our stars and stripes elegantly stretched out behind him. He was proud, tall, lean, and powerful, as if he was willing to run for his purpose until his legs gave out. But he wasn’t alone in any way. He may have been by himself in form, but, even though he didn’t know me, I was running behind him too.