A Name Remembered

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For longer than I’ve been an Eagle, Team RWB Boston has partnered with Marathon Sports on Boylston Street. Every Wednesday night, a handful of local Eagles join up with the store’s run club for a fun and scenic run through the city. Our logo hangs in the store’s window, they link to us in their weekly newsletters, and several of the Marathon Sports Run Club members even wear Team RWB shirts on meaningful days (such as the week of Armistice Day) as support and solidarity for everything we do.

This partnership doesn’t stop there. On the last Wednesday of every month, Marathon Sports hosts a private social event in the store for run club members, providing us with local pizza and beer. As part of the event, the store includes a donation box for local charity. The designated charity is different every month and is often tied to individual marathon fundraising. Just as often, the store manager, Shane O’Hara, will announce that the charity for the month is Team Red, White & Blue. Shane tells us that he is honored to support our organization and appreciates everything we do. We appreciate YOU, Shane!

There’s another tradition at these events that is truly meaningful to us all. Every month, Team RWB Boston selects a fallen hero to honor. We tell the stories of local heroes who went off to war and never came home, service members who sacrificed their lives to save others, and veteran friends and fellow RWB members who have been tragically lost at home after having served their country and community. Before each month’s final run, a moment of solemn dignity is observed as an Eagle tells the story of the fallen hero being honored. It is with the utmost appreciation that our chapter extends our thanks to the members of this run club who stand and listen to those stories and to those names. We understand that not everybody feels as strongly about the sacrifices of military service members as we do, but on those days – we remember the person behind the title of “hero.” Somebody’s son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother… Somebody who has been lost. Somebody who deserves to be remembered.

And so each month, a hero’s story is told. A name is remembered. Shane leads us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Eagles shoulder flags as we prepare for the run. And one run club member, Eagle or otherwise, is handed a small hand-held flag with a gold ribbon bearing the name of the fallen hero. That hero’s name is carried for the duration of the run, and upon returning to the store, that small flag is handed back to the store’s staff members where it joins a permanent display. This growing row of flags is proudly displayed near the entrance of Marathon Sports – gold ribbons still attached, heroes still remembered.

The next time you find yourself in Boston on a Wednesday evening, join us for a run or just stop by and say hello. And if it happens to be the last Wednesday of the month, you’re always welcome at our social to pay respect to those who have sacrificed everything in the service of us all.