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9/11 Remembrance Relay wraps up in honor of fallen servicewomen, including two from the Lowcountry

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 9:04 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2021 at 9:06 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - 20 years after 9/11, a group of women veterans is walking to honor the dozens of U.S. servicewomen who have been killed in combat zones since the terror attacks in 2001, including two women who were from the Lowcountry.

The 9/11 Remembrance Relay wrapped up Saturday in Arlington National Cemetery. According to the Women’s Military Memorial, this relay honors women like Private First Class Melisa Hobart from Ladson and Specialist Katrina Bell-Johnson from Orangeburg who died while in combat zones since 9-11.

According to the Fallen Heroes Memorial, Private First Class Hobart was killed in 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq after collapsing on guard duty. The Fallen Heroes Memorial website says Specialist Katrina Bell-Johnson died in Ba’qubah, Iraq in 2005 when she was involved in a vehicle accident.

Officials with the women’s military memorial said the 9/11 Remembrance Relay is 177 miles long in honor of the 177 U-S servicewomen who were killed while serving our country since the terror attacks. The relay began last weekend at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA and ended Saturday at the Military Women’s Memorial.

Robin Johnson lives in Isle of Palms. She is the Vice President of Development for the Women’s Military Memorial and told us it was important to honor these fallen heroes, particularly this year.

“It’s been 20 years,” she said. “For me it’s personal. I was in the Army on 9/11 and deployed five times to Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11 in support of the global war on terrorism. It’s very personal for me to honor these women. These are my sisters in arms. I served alongside with them. They have legacies. They left behind families. I felt like we really needed to take a moment to celebrate their life and pay tribute to them and honor their sacrifice.”

Johnson said more than 200 women participated in the actual in-person relay. More than 700 participated virtually.

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