Excitement and patriotism were in the air at the Lawrenceville Police Department Headquarters Saturday morning, as 449 runners and walkers assembled for the department's .
The event was held in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the attacks on our country ten years ago. Participants were decked out in red, white and blue, and several teams made up of police officers, veterans, fire fighters and military personnel participated in the run to honor their fallen brothers and sisters in service.
Before the race began, the crowd gathered at the front of the LPD Headquarters building to hear brief speeches from Police Chief Randy Johnson and Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson.
In a particularly poignant moment, the LPD's Honor Guard presented the colors, and Lt. Alan Bannister from the Lawrenceville Police Department read aloud the total of Americans in the twin towers who lost their lives, the total of the heroes of United Airways Flight 93 who died when the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania and the number of NYPD officers and FDNY responders who were lost in the rescue efforts after the attacks.
After each total was read aloud, a member of the Honor Guard rang a silver bell. This was followed by a moment of silence.
Lt. Bannister introduced the crowd to a "very special guest," a young man named Miles who was born on September 11, 2001. Miles will celebrate his tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of the attack on our country.
Those gathered in front of the police headquarters also met Roy Eason, a veteran and friend of the LPD. When Mr. Eason was 17 years old, he stood on the deck of the USS Missouri and watched the Japanese surrender to Amercia during World War II.
At the race's start time, fire trucks flanking Jackson Street sounded the sirens, and the runners took off amidst waving American flags and cheers.
Here are the winner's from this year's race:
Male - John Van Steenbergh, age 44, time of 17:57
Female - Zoe Mazzawi, age 34, time of 20:18
Male - Pete Martin, 48 with a time of 20:39
Female - Vickie Torstad, 49, time was 24:33
Top Cop Award:
Curtis Spratt, 32, from the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Dept. Rapid
Response Team. Time of 19:57 (Won last year as well)
Top Fire Fighter Award
Dave Yarbrough, 44, Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services, time of 24:32
Special Teams Award:
Gwinntt County Sheriff's Department's Rapid Response Team with the
team average time of 21:82. (They won last year as well)
The Chief's Award was given to the group with the most participants was awarded to the Gwinnett
County Sheriff's Department.