Surveys show running is more popular than ever in the United States. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association claims that more than 19 million Americans run at least 100 days a year. In addition, 50 million Americans run at least once a year. If you’re in that group, Memorial Day would be a great time to take those annual strides.
There’s an amazing effort each year that encourages runners and walkers to dedicate the miles they put in on Memorial Day to American heroes who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Lisa Hallett, the widow of a fallen soldier, started Wear Blue: Run to Remember as a way to honor her husband and all of our military members who gave all for us.
Those participating in the Memorial Day race wear blue clothing. The sight of these runners moving in mass is really captivating. Those who take part can choose a distance meaningful to them to run or walk or be a part of an organized event. This running community serves as a support network for those preparing for a deployment, living through a deployment, recovering from a deployment, and healing from loss sustained during a deployment.
On race day, the Wear Blue Mile allows all runners to pay tribute to the service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. It is a reminder that freedom isn’t free—it was bought and paid for by men and women in uniform.
For Hallett, this is all too personal.
“I was blessed to marry my very, very best friend John,” she told Breitbart Sports. “We grew up together and had three healthy, happy, beautiful children.”
John, a West Point grad entered a military career in 2001—a career he and his wife were proud to be a part of. Three weeks after John deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, Lisa was given the heartbreaking news that Captain John Hallett was one of four American service members killed on the way home from a goodwill mission.
While going through the grieving process Lisa turned to others who have also lost loved ones in uniform and started a running group together.
“We learned we were not running from tragedy but through it,” Hallett said. “It became a life affirming way to remember these men.”
Wear Blue: Run To Remember was born.
Now a national movement, thousands are set to run in memory of our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
“When I start running I’m with John,” Hallett said. “I say his name, my children say his name, I hear the names of other service members, I stand side by side with the men and women who actively served. There is just power and strength in that and it is such a blessing to be empowered by that type of community and to keep those names alive.”
You can help keep the names of our fallen heroes alive too. If you’d like to run or walk on Memorial Day or help in other ways head to www.wearblueruntoremember.org and join the sea of blue. They gave us everything, we can certainly give a little time and sweat in their name.