Runners stop in Middle Georgia to honor fallen soldiers in nationwide event
MONROE COUNTY, Ga. -- Runners honored fallen soldiers in Monroe County on Thursday.
Run for the Fallen is a nationwide event that's making stops in Georgia through July 17, where runners stop every mile to read the names of deceased service members. The event's website says nearly 20,000 fallen soldiers will be recognized.
During Thursday's run, the names of 107 fallen service members were read over a 62-mile stretch to Juliette. Monroe County deputies, fire officials and emergency workers were on scene at Rock Springs Church in Juliette to help block off the road for the event.
Run for the Fallen spans 6,000 miles and over 19 states over a period of five months.
The route started in California and will make its way through Jeffersonville, Dublin, Adrian, Statesboro and Savannah before going through South Carolina, North Carolina and then Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia this August.
Katherine Krattli's son, Corporal William G. Taylor was killed in action on November 30, 2005. "This, being on this ride means everything," said Krattli.
George Lutz, the founder of Honor and Remember, is a Gold Star father himself. His son Tony Lutz was killed in action in Iraq on December 29, 2005.
"The idea of remembrance is something a gold star family clings to," said Lutz.
He said the organization thought the best way to honor and remember these soldiers is to read their names out loud.
"We're calling them out loud, one mile at a time every 10 minutes, from California to Virginia," Lutz said.
He said that families will travel thousands of miles, driving for hours to hear their loved one's name called out for 30 seconds on the side of the road.
"You know there's no words for it. The emotion of that moment, the intensity of what that feels like," Lutz said.
Krattli said she carries her son's memory with her every day. "I do, I actually got out and did a little bit of running today," she said.
She said that knowing her son gave his life for this country's freedom and her faith in god has helped her get through this.
"Our heavenly father, our creator needed him to guard the gates of heaven worse than we needed him here," Krattli said.
Find out more about the Run for the Fallen campaign and follow the route here.