By Rick Palsgrove
Special events are being planned in Groveport to recognize the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and to honor, celebrate, and commemorate military veterans and first responders.
Organizers say one event is expected to be quite large while those organizing another event hope it becomes an annual autumn tradition.
20K Ruck Run Remember
Marshall Jackson, representing the group Fallen 15, which honors and celebrates fallen heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, said plans are in the works for the first 20K Ruck Run Remember to be held on Sept. 11 in Groveport. The event will start and finish at the Groveport Recreation Center.
“We want to do something special. There’s no other large scale 9-11 event like this planned for the area,” Jackson told Groveport City Council on April 11. “We couldn’t think of a better place than Groveport, especially since it’s the home of Motts Military Museum, which has the largest collection of 9-11 artifacts outside of New York. You also have a good trail system here.”
According to event organizers, the ruck run is broken into 9K and 11K portions. Participants can: ruck (which means putting on a rucksack or backpack with a minimum of 25 pounds and walking or running the entire distance); run or walk the entire distance; or compete as a two person team where one member does the first 9K and the second member does the last 11K.
Jackson said there will be two start times. Runners will start at 8:46 a.m., which is the time when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. Ruckers will start at 9:30 a.m., which is the time the second plan hit the South Tower.
Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said event organizers are looking to attract 500 to 1,000 participants. She said the route for the event has not been determined yet, but it would require some street closures as well as plans to coordinate parking.
Cost to register for the event will be $60 with discounts for military personnel and first responders. Proceeds from the event will go to Fallen 15, Motts Military Museum, Fraternal Order of Police Foundation, and Columbus Fire Foundation.
At 1 p.m. Sept. 11 there will be a 9-11 ceremony at Motts Military Museum, 5075 S. Hamilton Road in Groveport.
More details on Ruck Run Remember will be released once they are finalized.
Groveport/CW football ruck march
Robert Dutro American Legion Post 486 is making plans to start a tradition in the Groveport and Canal Winchester area with a 12 mile ruck march on the day of the Groveport vs. Canal Winchester varsity football game this fall.
According to Post Commander Rick Compton, the plan is to carry the game ball from the away team’s stadium to the site of the game and present the game ball to officials to start the game. Compton said veterans participating in the march will carry 22 pound rucksacks to raise awareness about the 22 military veteran suicides that take place in the United State each day.
“This will put Groveport on the map and also raise awareness about an important issue,” Compton told Groveport City Council.
City officials said they will work with the American Legion and Groveport Madison and Canal Winchester schools to coordinate the ruck march.
Compton said the revitalized Robert Dutro American Legion Post 486, which now has 62 members topping the post’s previous high of 58 members in 1935, is active in the community. He said members have helped in the refurbishment of the new food pantry at Oak and Cherry streets in Groveport as well as other community projects and events. He said the post hopes to hold a 5K run in September in conjunction with the Groveport Hometown Car Show. The post is also working to organize a Sons of American Legion Post in Groveport.