A group of emergency responders from the U.S. and Australia, running across America to raise funds for various charities in honor of the victims of 9/11, passed by The Press office early Saturday along SR 51.
“Tour of Duty" is comprised of 36 firefighters, policemen and paramedics running with the goal of arriving at the World Trade Center site on September 11. The group left Santa Monica, Calif on Aug. 12 and planned to take 31 days to cover 4,600 miles across 20 states.
At 1 a.m. Saturday, Australian firemen were handling the running chores. They were running through gusty winds from Northwood southeast on SR 51 and were halfway between Millbury and Genoa on SR 51. The runners passed the 3,600-mile mark in Northwood and had about 735 miles to go. They were moving at speeds of 9.9 mph with an average speed of 6.6 mph, according to a special GPS tracker that allows people to follow their progress by going to http://myathletelive.net/tourofduty.
The male and female runners are running in honor of their fellow emergency responders who lost their lives on 9-11, when nearly 3,000 people were killed by a series of terrorist attacks on the U.S. Most of those killed were civilians in the World Trade Center, but a total of 411 emergency service workers who responded to the scene were among the dead. The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost 343 firefighters, the NYC Police Department lost 23 officers, the Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers, and eight paramedics from private emergency medical firms were killed.
In addition to honoring their fallen brothers and sisters, the Tour of Duty runners as also collecting donations and raising money for such charities as The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Cener, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, among others.