The Indy Veterans coalition will hold a 5K race in Indianapolis Wednesday, 18 years after thousands died during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
First responders and veterans planned the inaugural event to commemorate the tragedy and to highlight the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, in their community. It will take place along the Indianapolis Canal Walk downtown.
Indy Veterans President Jill Fewell says money raised will benefit the MRAS PTSD Recovery Program, an organization working to launch a camp at Indiana University’s Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana. The camp will offer a free recovery retreat to those living with PTSD.
“It’s an issue that’s not going away unless we do something about it,” Fewell said. “It affects first responders, firefighters, law enforcement and of course veterans and women veterans.”
Fewell says she hopes the 5K will remind citizens about the lasting trauma of 9/11.
“We won’t ever go back to the patriotic feeling that I think all Americans had after that tragic event,” Fewell said. “We pulled together as a country, and I think we should every year stop as a community and remember this day.”
Indy Veterans is also sponsoring an annual memorial ride organized by local veterans and Project 9/11 Indianapolis. The ride will be followed by a candlelight vigil at the Indianapolis 9/11 memorial, located at 421 W. Ohio St.
Mic Woodrum, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, led the effort to organize the memorial ride, following in the footsteps of local veterans who started the tradition after the 2001 attacks. Last year’s ride saw close to 400 participants, she said, and she expects more to show up at the 2019 event thanks to the new partnership with Indy Veterans.
Woodrum added students from local high schools plan join the veterans groups at the candlelight service – including many who were born after 9/11.
“I’m humbled that kids came to us to learn how they could be involved,” Woodrum said. “They are so receptive to what we’re doing.”
The Indy Veterans 9/11 events are scheduled for the following times. For more details, visit the Indy Veterans website:
- Never Forget 9/11 Ride – 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- 9/11 5K Memorial Run for PTSD – 5 to 7:30 p.m.
- 9/11 Memorial Candlelight Remembrance – 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.