Annual 9/11 Heroes Run honors first responders, military while giving back locally

VIDEO: First responders, military honored in annual 9/11 Heroes Run

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - On Saturday morning hundreds were on Daniel Island for the 5th Annual 9/11 Heroes Run.

The runs unite communities across the world to recognize the service and sacrifices made by the military and first responders.

Jess Ross is a board member of the 9/11 Heroes Run. Her brother Chris Amoroso passed away in the September 11 attacks. He was 29 and a Port Authority Officer.

"People say it gets easier as time goes on, but sometimes I think it's harder," Ross said.  "You miss the person's voice, you miss hugging them."

Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attack. She says it was one of his first days on the job at Trade Center. He usually worked the Port Authority Bus.

Ross is part of events like this to keep her brother's memory alive along with others. Her family started a foundation in his honor in New Jersey.

"There is a very famous picture of my brother from 9/11 saving a woman, but he went into the tower three times and on the third time is when the tower collapsed," Ross said.

The 9/11 Heroes run honors our fallen heroes, but it also supports local first responders.

Cpl. Kimber Gist from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office was honored during the opening ceremony. She was wounded in the line of duty locally earlier this year.

"You go through a lot mentally when stuff like that happens so to know that people that don't know you care, it really does mean a lot," Gist said.

The 9/11 Heroes Run has provided about $43,000 to local law enforcement and first responders for equipment needs. Each year organizers choose local charity partners to support. This year a portion of the race proceeds will go to Berkeley Count EMS, Charleston County Rescue Squad and James Island PSD Fire Department.

Race Director Theresa Faircloth says the event is all about giving back to them to help our local first responders and law enforcement save lives.

The Charleston 9/11 Heroes Run has also donated about $43,000 to the Travis Manion Foundation. The foundation empowers veterans and families of fallen heroes. These runs were inspired by the foundation in honor of Travis Manion who was killed by a sniper in Iraq in April 2007 while protecting his battalion.

Jerry Jass, Sr., came out in memory of his son Sgt. Girard Jass, a Special Forces Medic.

"He gave his life serving our country in Afghanistan in 2014 and so I'm here today to honor him," Jass said. "It's very heartwarming as always, the loss never goes away but we all learn to go on."

During the opening ceremonies first responders who experienced 9/11 shared memories from the day.

People of all ages including those in the military and first responders representing local agencies participated in the race.

"It is just as important as it was yesterday, today," Ross said. "Keep talking about it, keep thanking our local police, fire, EMS, thank you for their sacrifices and just never forget."

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