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Group to run from Charleston to Columbia to honor fallen military members

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:29 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A team of runners is set to begin a 122-mile journey Friday morning from Charleston to the State House in Columbia.

The “Run for the Fallen” will pay tribute to military members who died in the War in Iraq.

George Lutz is the founder and executive director of the Honor and Remember Organization. On December 29, 2005, his son, George Anthony Lutz II (Tony) was killed by a sniper’s bullet while he was on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq.

Lutz now travels the country hosting runs in different states to help families and community members honor and remember other service members who died during the War on Terror.

The event takes runners from their starting point at Liberty Square in downtown Charleston, through Berkeley, Orangeburg, Calhoun, Lexington and Richland Counties, arriving in Columbia on Sunday.

At each mile, they will briefly stop at a marker with names of South Carolina service members who died either while serving or who died because of something that happened in service.

This year they will run for and call out the names of more than 390 fallen military members from South Carolina.

Gold Star Family members and friends are invited to be at the different Hero Markers along the way to hear their loved one’s name called.

Lutz says it’s important to remember we are free because of the veterans who came home AND those who did not.

“We need to remember their names. So it’s important to call them out,” Lutz says. “You know, it’s said that you can die twice. The first time is a physical death and the second time is the last time that somebody calls your name out loud.”

Lutz says for the first time this year, they will live stream all the hero marker stops online. There you can also see a map of each hero they will honor at each stop.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg is expected to help send the runners on their special mission a little after 6 a.m.

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