It’s 240 miles from the Pentagon in Arlington County to Ground Zero in New York City and one local military veteran is part of a team that’s going to run every one of them.
The 9/11 Promise Run is an annual relay event commemorating the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
David Kent, a local Marine Corps veteran, is part of a nine-member team that will run the full length of the course beginning Sunday.
Kent, who was in high school in Northern Virginia at the time of the attacks, said on Thursday that 9/11 was part of the reason he joined the Marines when he was 19. He retired as a corporal in 2010.
“I’m doing it kind of remembering the friends I had who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Kent said.
Kent, 32, is one of about 70 people who will run the relay. There are 10 teams in all.
Each team has a bus, Kent said. They start at the Pentagon Sunday morning and run to the first stop in Elkton, Md. They then run to Trenton, N.J., on Monday.
The relay ends on Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, at the 9/11 memorial in New York City.
Kent’s nine teammates come from all over the country, as do all the relay runners, he said. The nine teammates are running under the name Flags of Valor — referencing the Northern Virginia flag-making business (which has a manufacturing facility in Frederick County) that helped put the team together.
Each runner in the relay is responsible for raising $1,000, Kent said. So, at least $70,000 will be raised to donate to Hope for the Warriors, a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance to combat wounded service members.
The donation and the commemorative aspect are what Kent said most important to him. “I want to make sure the country doesn’t forget.”
Anyone wanting more information on the relay can visit 911promiserun.com.