Remembering September 11th

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The past weeks have certainly been one of remembrance and reflection. It has been amazing to see communities across the country paying tribute in their own special ways.

There are so many things that make me proud to be a part of this organization, but I am perhaps most proud of our ability to inspire one another through positive action.  I see it everyday, and the anniversary of 9/11 was no different.

Time after time, you have rallied around your community to make it a better place. What’s most impressive is that you do it with tremendous passion regardless of the occasion. If a team member needs a training partner, you’re there at 0500.  A veteran needs someone to talk to, you pick up the phone. If a local homeless veterans’ shelter need volunteers, you spend your weekend helping.

Our Team was there after Boston, we were there on the anniversary of 9/11, but more importantly, we are there everyday in almost 60 cities around the country. Keep supporting each other.

We have an extremely busy Fall schedule and we’ll all need an extra shot of encouragement from time to time.

I’m honored to be a part of your Team!

Blayne Smith
Executive Director

Thousands of Team Red White and Blue members across the nation payed tribute to the twelfth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Here is a sampling of our local chapters in action…

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TEAM RWB FORT HOOD
For the 12th Anniversary of 9/11, Team RWB Fort Hood joined the students and faculty at Clifton Park Elementary School for their 9/11 Freedom Walk. The event consisted of the singing over several patriotic songs, the Pledge of Allegiance, a balloon release, and a walk around the block with all of the students, faculty and supporters! Team RWB members handed out balloons to all of the students in the school and were joined by the local Fort Hood unit which is part of the “Adopt a School” program, the Killeen Police & Fire Department and the Chick-Fil-A Cow! Team RWB Fort Hood involvement consisted of 11 Civilians and 7 Veterans (plus 3 stroller-bound kids)!

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TEAM RWB AUGUSTA
Team RWB Augusta had two events for 9/11 as we wanted to reach as many of our members and the community as possible. We had our Patriot 5K Run on the 7th, which was a hilly trail run where many of us ran with flags. We also completed the Operation Vigilance twin towers climb at our crossfit box on the 11th, where we had veterans, active duty, civilians, and even family members/children participating.

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TEAM RWB JAPAN
Team RWB Japan ran with 
the American Flag around Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi during the group’s 9/11 Flag Run. During the event, members of Team RWB ran 
the flag around the installation from morning colors to evening colors in memory of lives lost during 9/11.

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TEAM RWB FORT RUCKER
“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end”

Well. We celebrated. While a more traditional celebration may involve fundraising or moments of silence; Team RWB has continued a more active tradition of commemorating the tragic events that took place on 9/11 with an act of movement. The whole premise is that the Team is bettering their lives and the lives around them through acts of social activity; and so remembering and honoring 9/11 was no different.

Here at Fort Rucker we had 4 different Remembrance Runs. The day started out and finished with Team RWB groups meeting up throughout Fort Rucker, the City of Enterprise and Dothan. Words were spoken in honor of those that gave their lives on 9/11 and those that have sacrificed since. During the runs, the Flag was passed from person to person; giving everyone a chance to honor that day in an active way. Some people walked, some jogged, some ran, and some even biked. Despite the various levels of fitness, every group was able to create routes that allowed everyone to start together and finish together which only increased the impact of what Team RWB is all about. Participating in and watching kids, veterans, active duty members, and family carry the flag in such an active tribute was quite an awesome way of honoring the day that changed our lives twelve years ago.

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TEAM RWB CARBONDALE
Team RWB and Southern Illinois University Carbondale paid homage to veterans, service personnel and first responders with two special events on Wednesday, September 11. Read an article from The Southern about the event here.

SIUC held an appreciation activity and the inaugural “Run to Remember 5K Run/Walk.” The 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Service event gave everyone an opportunity to say “thanks” to area veterans and first responders.

The Run to Remember 5K Run/Walk was at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex, with pre-race ceremonies featuring the posting of colors, the national anthem and an invocation. An SIU graduate student veteran conceived the idea for the event in memory of 9/11.

After the race there was a short presentation featuring someone who was on the scene in New York following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attack. There was a 21-gun salute, and taps played to close the ceremony. Area first responders, National Guard personnel, and veteran’s service organizations were on hand with information and special displays.

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TEAM RWB SARATOGA
Team RWB Albany was out in full force on Sunday, September 8 for the Travis Manion 9/11 Heroes Run in Saratoga Springs. The 5K race started with a stirring prerace ceremony at the local 9/11 memorial that paid tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. The event’s theme, “If not me, then who,” was a fitting reminder for Team RWB athletes of our organization’s purpose and mission as it perfectly captures our spirit of volunteerism and servitude.

Team RWB Albany was seen all over the race course which was marshaled by active duty service members. “We run to activate communities and empower local veterans, first responders and survivors,” said race organizer Allison Clower. Team RWB Albany could not have been in a better place Sunday to strengthen its organization and support our local heroes.

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TEAM RWB KANSAS CITY
Robin Burky, Gerry Hollis, Amanda Hollis, Ashley Junebug Carpenter, Carol Folck Daniels McCoy, Ann Grimsley Benson, Maria Gallegos and Troy Brin participated in a Patriots Run.

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TEAM RWB DAYTONA
Team RWB Daytona’s Tribute 9/11 Flag Run. Team members gathered at the YMCA in Ormond Beach on 9/11/2013 to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and to our military men and women and their families. We ran a slow run and walk for 2 miles. It was incredible. Afterwards, the YMCA hosted our team in a functional fitness workout at 9 stations with 11 reps representing 9/11.

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TEAM RWB WATERTOWN/FORT DRUM
Team RWB Daytona’s Tribute 9/11 Flag Run. Team members gathered at the YMCA in Ormond Beach on 9/11/2013 to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and to our military men and women and their families. We ran a slow run and walk for 2 miles. It was incredible. Afterwards, the YMCA hosted our team in a functional fitness workout at 9 stations with 11 reps representing 9/11.

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TEAM RWB AUSTIN
On 9/11 for our Tribute Run, we stopped at a firehouse on the way back & were able to thank the firefighters for their service & take a quick picture.

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TEAM RWB NORTH LIBERTY
The owners of We Run specialty running store in North Liberty, Kris and Brian Tharp, often hold group running events for their customers, running students and friends.

On Sunday, Sept. 8, the runners had some special guests. Members of Team Red, White & Blue joined the Sunday run, carrying flags and sporting their Team RBW t-shirts to honor victims and heroes of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the U.S. Pentagon and the attempted attack on Washington, D.C. Read more about the event here.

“Some of our customers are military people, and there are two who wanted to start a Team Red, White & Blue chapter in this area,” said Kris Tharp of We Run. “They felt a support network would be good here.” Now, she said, the fledgling chapter in North Liberty is gaining momentum and speed. Currently, the chapter meets at the We Run store on Wednesday nights, led by organizer Mike McElmeel.

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TEAM RWB FORT LAYTON
Our team met at a local park and after a brief moment of silence for those affected and lost on 9/11, we discussed how thankful we are for family, friends, and freedoms we have today. We followed this discussion by running a 5K along a busy section of the Destin Highway. After the run we socialized a bit and discussed upcoming events.

Note:  We received several positive emails from PTSD members. Which made this and all events worth every minute of our time/effort.

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TEAM RWB HOUSTON
Team RWB Houston gathered together for five 9/11 tribute runs. The first was a huge group at the TMF 9/11 Heroes Run where we had over 60 Eagles in attendance- from runners to walkers and even a handcyclist- Teamwork was on full display! Then, on 9/11 we had 4 different gatherings throughout Houston honoring our fallen.

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TEAM RWB ITALY
September 11, 2013 USO Vicenza continues its community outreach support by aiding Team Red, White & Blue’s “Moving Tribute” giving remembrance of the events of September 11th 2001. Team RWB members had a moving tribute running on Caserma Ederle with the American flag throughout the day. They started bright and early at 8:46, when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. They continued running throughout the day with the flag up and did not stop until 1930 on September 11, 2013. USO Vicenza had a tent set up with cold water and orange juice to keep the runners going throughout the day. Center Manager Glenn Gibbs was out there bright and early cheering on the runners as they passed by with the America flag. He was there from start to finish to support Team RWB of which he is a proud member also. Lots of men, women, and children all participated in the Moving Tribute Run. Various VHS organizations like the band, basketball team, and choir participated as groups in the tribute as well.

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TEAM RWB LOS ANGELES & ORANGE COUNTY
Fifteen members came out to remember the events of the day and honor the fallen during one – or both – of our stair climbs on the famous Santa Monica stairs. There are roughly 170 stairs on the outdoor staircase, and Team RWB members made 10 round trips up and down the stairs, reflecting on both the first responders who fearlessly ran into the Twin Towers as well as the workers, tourists, and visitors who were trying to exit the towers on that fateful day. It was a fitting and compelling tribute that we were glad to complete as a team.

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TEAM RWB LOUISVILLE
We did a moving tribute – we kept the flag moving around town all day, from sun-up to sun-down. It was an awesome experience!

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TEAM RWB ROCHESTER
Team RWB Rochester hosted a group trail run. We stopped at specific points along the way. 1 vet and one active duty marine read citations of Rochesterians who lost this lives in 9/11. After each one, we would have a moment a silence. When the run was done, we hosted a BBQ for vets at the Nucor house. The Nucor house is a residence which is part of the Warrior Salute program, an inpatient program for vets with Severe PTSD and TBI.

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TEAM RWB SACRAMENTO
We had 9 a Run to Remember with Team RWB adults and 3 Team RWB tots! They ran in the 5K & 10K race. There was a great ceremony afterwards where all race participants got to plant a flag next to the name of one of the Americans who died on 9/11. We met a group of Marine Corps Moms after the ceremony and someone from the Sacramento State College newspaper took a photo for us. A few of us also ended up being on news footage of the race.

We held a 9.11 mile run through Davis, CA at 6 AM on September 11th. We had 10 runners and one person who brought post run snacks (because he’s injured). Some people hit their personal bests on time for that distance which was awesome while other people had never ran that far in their whole life! Most importantly, the reason why we were running really resonated with the group and everyone was really proud that they participated in a small event to keep the memory alive.

Two of our group members participated in a Team RWB  Wounded Warrior Project—WOD at Crossfit Roseville. The instructor is heavily involved in the Wounded Warrior Project and has a mobile gym (paid for by the WWP) that he takes to wounded vets to train them at their house. It was a great time where we got to meet other veterans.

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TEAM RWB SAN ANGELO
Over 100 participants joined Team RWB San Angelo at the 9/11 Stair Climb in remembrance of the 2,977 people killed on 9/11/2001. Seven members of Team RWB joined with members from the USMC, Angelo State University Student Veterans’ Organization, and the Army to complete the 2,977 steps in teams of 10. RWB member Devon Blake took on all 2,977 steps and completed her mission in 42 minutes.

On September 14, Team RWB San Angelo joined Angelo State University and Big Brothers, Big Sisters for the Run 2 Remember on the ASU campus. Community Captain, Tim Masshardt, and RWB Member, Devon Blake, were two of the speakers that addressed the crowd of over 200 people before the race. Team RWB Members carried the flag in honor of the event throughout the 1.5 mile, 5K, and 10K courses and received some assistance from other runners who felt compelled to run with the flag.

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TEAM RWB SHREVEPORT
The Shreveport Team RWB Chapter held a Moving Tribute in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the wars since. They kept the flag moving from sunrise to sunset and were joined by active duty military, first responders, and community members. The event ended with the arrival of a Life Air Rescue helicopter, marshalled in by the Shreveport Fire Department.

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TEAM RWB TECUMSEH
We ran or rucked 10 Kilometers around the City of Tecumseh, past the police and fire stations. We communicated with the police and fire stations what our mission was that day. The police department patrolled the course flashing their lights and siren as they passed us. The fire department opened their doors and rolled their trucks out on to the concrete apron. It was a privelege to honor the men and women of our community who have dedicated their lives to protecting or serving the community of Tecumseh Michigan.

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TEAM RWB WASHINGTON DC
Team RWB Washington DC came together in Arlington and headed towards the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. A lot of great energy and many first-timers.

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TEAM RWB WEST POINT
Our 9/11 “Moving Tribute” at West Point, with cadet teams, one staff and faculty team, and one family team. We kept over 8 flags moving from 0600 (cemetery prayer and moment of silence) to 1700 when they brought down the garrison flag. We finished when they played “retreat”.

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TEAM RWB LAS VEGAS
Nellis AFB Top 3 and Team Red, White & Blue sponsored 9/11 Old Glory Challenge Wrap up. Overall, the goal of the Old Glory Challenge was to REMEMBER..HONOR..TELL the 9/11 story for the Nellis AFB and Las Vegas community. The event directly impacted over 1120+ and thousands more indirectly through local media coverage and observers of the event at both locations. The Nellis Top 3 and Team RWB will pursue making this an officially sanctioned Nellis AFB event starting in 2014 and beyond.

There are two locations, the Nellis AFB Freedom Park (Time: 10 hrs-0630-1630) & the Batterman Elementary School (Time: 6 hrs-0915-1515). With 220+ personnel on Nellis AFB carrying a total of 190 American flags (152 small & 38 large). There were 900+ teacher’s and students—each carrying a school provided American flag. The Nellis Organizations Support: 99 LRS (83 participants at Nellis & 14 participants at Creech), 372 TRS Det 13 (25 participants), 414 CTS (19 participants), 505 TEG, 505 TS, 99 ABW Staff, 757 AMXS, 58 RQS, 549 CTS, Raptor AMU, German AF, British RAF, Australian RAAF, 99 CS, 57 WPSS, 99 MDSS, 99 MSGS, Nellis AFB Top 3, & Team RWB – Las Vegas (2 members ran 19 miles each throughout the day) Our list of volunteers were endless and amazing—with 20x Nellis AFB Top, 7x Team RWB – Las Vegas, & 99 SFS personnel setting up traffic control measures!

Pictures from the event can be posted or viewed here at the TeamRWB-LV Facebook Group. To see some of our local media coverage at the Batterman Elementary School Old Glory Challenge, you can watch the 8NewsNow, read the Fox5 Vegas coverage, or read our coverage at the CBS Local.

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TEAM RWB NEW YORK CITY
Team RWB New York City had two events honoring 9/11—a great morning 5k with Team RWB and our new NYC Chapter Captain Joe Quinn – crossing the finish line with Old Glory at the Travis Manion’s Run to Remember at Randall’s Island. There was also a Run To Remember group run  from the Intrepid to Ground Zero to remember and honor our fallen heros.

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TEAM RWB TOLEDO
Team RWB Toledo had a 9/11 Memorial Ruck March where we rucked 25.6 miles. The ruck went from Oak Harbor, OH to Toledo, OH, ending at the Toledo Firefighters Memorial statue that was placed in remembrance of our local heroes who were lost on 9/11. During our march along the route, we spread our message of remembrance and how to enrich the lives of veterans within the community. It was a great success and an emotional march for the us vets that marched.

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TEAM RWB BLOOMINGTON
Team RWB Bloomington did two different rememberences; The Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run in Bloomington, IL, and we also did the WOD for Warriors Operation—a vigiliance rope climb, climbing over 4,000 ft here in Bloomington.