CHICAGO (CBS) — As we remember the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, many events are happening across the country. One happening in Chicago will include a run held to honor our military men and women, and those lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Volition America Race and 5K took off at Grant Park early Sunday morning, CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports.
Race creator and founder of Folds of Honor, the organization benefitting from the race, Major Dan Rooney says “Folds of Honor’s mission is to leave no family behind on the field of battle.” Folds of Honor is an organization providing scholarships to children whose parents were killed or disabled in service to the U.S.
Rooney said he started the organization on a commercial airline flight travelling from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Mich. “I had returned from my second duty in Iraq, and Cpl. Brad Buckin was bring his identical twin brother, Cpl. Brock Bucklin home, who had been killed in Iraq. That was the inspiration, and since that, we’ve awarded over 10,000 scholarships to spouses and children…and we’ll put nearly $15 million in financial aid out just this year to support these families.”
Rooney, who still serves as a Major in the Air Force and has been active for 18 years, says his time in the service has inspired him to create the organization.
“As a combat aviator, you appreciate the fact that freedom isn’t free, and the sacrifices that are made each and every day, and especially on days like Sept. 11, where we all reflect on the fact that we have so many men and women out there willing to make that ultimate sacrifice,” Rooney says, “And to be able to take care of their dependants is what this race is all about, and what Folds of Honor is all about.”
Organizer and Executive Director Lacie Whyte adds, “….he founded our race series based on the fact of giving back, and involving military families, and all of the people that are gracious enough to support the military to come out today…in memory of everyone that was fallen not only on Sept. 11, but our military, in general.”