Covering 146-plus miles on foot over three days is no small feat, even when it’s split among a group of runners. But for this group, it was a way to say ‘thank you’ and commemorate the fallen service members of Arizona.
The AZ Run for the Fallen, a statewide organized tribute run featuring active duty and former military marathon-trained runners, took place Oct. 16-18. The sets of runners alternated mile-long segments of the 146-mile trek.
U-Haul International, Inc. created and supplied all of the mile markers along the AZ Run for the Fallen route. Runners stopped at every mile marker to pay their respects to a specific fallen service member.
Runners approached each ‘hero marker’ carrying three 3×5 flags (the American flag, the Arizona state flag and the Honor and Remember flag) as well as the hero’s bio. The family of each fallen service member was invited to wait at a designated mile marker for the runners to arrive. The runners handed the flags to persons waiting at the ‘hero marker.’ The bio was then read aloud, which included the name of the hero, branch of service and date of death. Once the bio was placed on the ground, the runners stepped back, called the group to attention and saluted the fallen hero. Respects were then paid to the service members’ immediate family, if present, with a hug.
This year there were 14 core runners. At the end of each day’s run, there was a dinner held to honor a specific family with a personalized handmade Honor and Remember flag in memory of their loved one. About 100 people attended each dinner. Family members express gratitude and appreciation.
U-Haul is proud to support the AZ Run for the Fallen and thanks the organization for remembering our fallen service members.
To see other ways U-Haul has helped in the community check out our In the Community section.