August 23, 2013

Events will honor veterans, first responders

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will pay homage to veterans, service personnel and first responders with two special events on Sept. 11 -- an appreciation activity and the inaugural “Run to Remember 5K Run/Walk.”

The 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Service event will give everyone an opportunity to say “thanks” to area veterans and first responders. There will be a table in the main breezeway by Faner Hall from 9 a.m. to noon, and a second table in the Art Gallery at the south end of the Student Center from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to stop by either location and make appreciation cards for veterans, local firefighters and police officers.  The Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism is sponsoring the event.  The supplies are free.

Organizers will distribute the cards to local police and firefighters, the SIU Carbondale Veterans Center, and to veterans at the Marion VA Medical Center.

The Run to Remember 5K Run/Walk is that evening at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex, with pre-race ceremonies featuring the posting of colors, the national anthem, and an invocation beginning at 6 p.m.  The run/walk follows at 6:15 p.m.  An SIU graduate student veteran conceived the idea for the event in memory of 9/11.

The course will wind through the beautiful SIU campus.  Runners, walkers, individuals, groups, children, pets, strollers -- essentially anyone and everyone, is welcome to participate.

At the conclusion of the race there will be a short presentation that organizers hope will feature someone who was on the scene in New York following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attack.  There will be a 21-gun salute, and taps will play to close the ceremony.  Area first responders, National Guard personnel, and veteran’s service organizations will be on hand with information and special displays.

SIU Veterans Services and Recreational Sports and Services are the run/walk sponsors.  Pre-registration is available at the member services center in the upper level of the Student Recreation Center.  Completed entry forms may also be mailed, complete with a check payable to SIU, to Brenda Winkeler, Room 135, Mail Code 6717, SIU Student Recreation Center, Carbondale, IL 62901.  Online pre-registration is available at, by searching for “Run to Remember Carbondale.”

The entry fee is $20.  Mail-in entries must be postmarked by Sept. 2.  The deadline to enter in person or online is Sept. 9.  Late registration is also an option and occurs at 5 p.m. on race day. The cost at that time will be $25.

The top three male and female overall finishers as well as the top placers in each age group will earn awards.  The first 300 to enter will receive T-shirts.  All event proceeds go to local first responders and veterans.

To learn more about the 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Service event or the Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism, visit the office on the third floor of the Student Center or call 618/453-5714.

For additional information about the Run to Remember 5K Run/Walk, visit Veterans Services in Woody Hall, B260, or call 618/453-1317.