COLD SPRING – The New Jersey Run for the Fallen will bring together 34 active-duty military personnel for a 186-mile run to honor each service member in the state who lost their life in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
Each mile of the run is marked with a sign dedicated to a New Jersey resident killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. The run team stops at each hero marker presenting a flag and personalized biographical card to waiting family members and friends, saluting and thanking the fallen warrior for their service to America.
The run team is comprised of active duty and reserve military from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and other bases from across the nation. On Thurs. Sept. 26, an expanded Sunset Beach flag ceremony with Marvin Hume will be held at 6 p.m. The ceremony will include a reading of the names of the fallen. A dinner will follow for Gold Star Family members, those who lost family members in Iraq.
Day one of the run begins Fri. Sept. 27 at 8:30 a.m. at the Cape May Lighthouse.
Capt. Thomas J. Casey is scheduled to be honored at 9:05 a.m. on West Lake Drive in Cape May Point. In previous years he was honored at the West Cape May Fire Hall although he was a resident of Cape May Point. At the request of Cape May Point Mayor George Stanger, Casey’s hero marker was moved to the Point.
A stop is scheduled at Lower Cape May Regional High School at 10:25 a.m. to honor Sgt. Michael P. Scusa, a 2005 graduate of the school and a resident of Villas. He was killed in action in Afghanistan Oct. 3, 2005 running to get ammunition. Eight of the 16 soldiers in his unit were killed in an ambush.
A stop is planned at 11:35 a.m. at the Wildwood Vietnam Memorial Wall. The first day of the Run for the Fallen concludes at 4:30 p.m. in Ocean City.
Day two of the run resumes Sat. Sept. 28 at 6:30 a.m. in Somers Point and finishes at 6:30 p.m. in Toms River.
Day three of run starts in Bricktown at 6:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:30 pm. with a ceremony at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Holmdel.
“The Run for the Fallen is the opportunity to remember the people that have given their lives for their country and to show their families how much we appreciate what they have done and the sacrifice they’ve made,” said Eileen Kreis, vice president of NJ Run for the Fallen.
She said the most important part of the run is emphasizing their sacrifice has not been forgotten.
Kreis requests the public line the route from the Cape May Lighthouse through Cape May Point, West Cape May, Lower Township and the Wildwoods onward to Ocean City. A map of the route is available at: www.runforthefallen.org