“If not me, then who…”

361 Capital was very proud to sponsor and organize the 2018 9/11 Heroes Run – Denver this past Sunday benefiting the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF). The event was in honor of 1st Lt. Travis Manion and the foundation that bears his name. Travis Manion was a Marine who lost his life in the war against terrorism. The Travis Manion Foundation helps veterans, families, and communities through various character building, mentorship, and empowerment programs, as well as honoring those that have lost their lives while serving our country.

“The 9/11 Heroes Run unites communities internationally with the goal to never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of September 11th and the wars since: veteran, first responder, civilian and military.”

The run takes place in over 50 cities around the world. We are happy to say that our first time coordinating the event there were over 180 registrants and approximately 300 race participants, volunteers and supporters.

We were fortunate that several participants had a connection to Travis, including our emcee, Rex Lacey. Rex, a veteran himself, personally knew Travis. Having that connection made the day even more special. Rex has a very impressive list of accomplishments and currently works at the University of Colorado helping veterans. Rex poignantly summarized how much of an impact the 9/11 Heroes Run Denver made: “We probably saved a life today.”

Among the participants were 27 ruckers. These racers take the challenge to a new level by running with a weighted backpack, typically around 30 to 50 pounds. If that sounds daunting, consider the fact that actual military backpacks can be upwards of 100 pounds. Watching these participants endure that added physical challenge was inspiring.

Tanna Harris from the TMF was also on hand. As Tanna explained in her remarks, we make choices each day about how we conduct our lives. On Sunday, we chose to commit our time to be a part of the 9/11 Heroes Run. In so doing, we might have sacrificed time with our family, relaxing, or generally spending our time doing anything else. Travis chose to live his life a certain way. He embodied leadership, selflessness, and courage, to name a few of his character traits. He chose to risk his life by serving others and was not deterred. He chose to go on what he knew would be a difficult redeployment. When confronted by his choice, his answer was “If not me, then who?” referencing the fact that if he did not go someone else, perhaps less prepared, would be put in harm’s way in his place. He made the ultimate sacrifice. Our daily choices may not be as risky, but we can choose to uphold the same character traits as Travis. This is part of TMF’s mission.

9/11 has become a day of remembrance due to the tragedies that occurred seventeen years ago. It is a day when we come together to remember the innocent men and women and first responders that lost their lives. The day is filled with tributes and acts of service. The 9/11 Heroes Run is one of those events. The power of events like the 9/11 Heroes Run is that it supports organizations like the TMF, who can: empower veterans and survivors, develop character, unite communities, and honor fallen heroes all year long.

Let’s not forget the tragedies of September 11th, 2001, where over 3,000 innocent people lost their lives. Thousands more have sacrificed so much to make our lives safer. Let’s not take for granted what they have done for us and continue to do so. Times of stress and adversity often help build character, but more often reveals our character. Travis Manion and the thousands of others that serve in the military and as first responders exemplify that character. (Please read this account of how Travis Manion’s commitment to his country touched a New York City firefighter.)

A short blog cannot describe the proud feelings and emotions of being connected to this event. The turnout and support were both amazing. Seeing people come together for a common cause makes it all worth it. We have made new friends and strengthened our commitment to serving others by partnering with organizations like the TMF. We are excited to continue our support for TMF by helping to grow this event and raise the awareness of it in future years. We hope to see everyone again next year.

Thank you sponsors, donors, volunteers, and participants. Most of all, thank you to Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion and all the other servicemen and woman and first responders—past, present, and future. You are true heroes.

The Team at 361 Capital

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1https://www.travismanion.org/community-engagement/911-heroes-run/