“If Not Me, Then Who . . .”
Those were the words of Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion. Manion spoke those words when his brother joked about pushing him down a flight of stairs so Manion would not have to go on his second deployment to Iraq. On April 29, 2007, Manion was killed by an enemy sniper while saving his wounded comrades. Every member of his patrol survived because of his actions.
It is with those simple, but powerful, words that the Travis Manion Foundation operates today. The foundation is built on the principle of uniting communities “to build an America that values character above all else: where integrity is more important than celebrity and social impact overrides personal gain; where acts of courage, service and kindness permeate the nightly news, and where communities unite together to raise each other up.”
One of the events sponsored by the foundation is the 9/11 Heroes Run, which is conducted in cities and towns around the country during the week of Sept. 11. The goal is to never forget the sacrifices made by the heroes of 9/11 and since: the veterans, first responders, civilian, military, and volunteers.
Now, the Heroes Run is coming to Culver on Saturday, Sept. 16, thanks to the efforts of Adam Davis ’18 (Granger, Indiana). The 5-kilometer run will raise funds for the foundation and honor fallen heroes. Davis, who like Manion, will be attending the United States Naval Academy after graduation. And like Manion, Davis is a wrestler. His brother, Zach, is currently a senior on the Navy wrestling team.
Davis said he knew about the Travis Manion Foundation through his brother and Navy wrestling. But he didn’t know about the 9/11 Heroes Run until Hungo Lentze from TMF came to campus to talk as part of the senior service project of John Duffy ’17 and Riley Callahan ’17.
With the help of math instructor Caren Standfast, also a Naval Academy graduate, Davis is bringing the Heroes Run to Culver. Working with Fitness Center Director Dana Neer, they have set up a course similar to the one used for the Lake Max Triathlon. It will tie the Academies, lake community, and town together over the 3.1 mile course. Both runners and walkers are welcome, Davis said.
Davis said opening ceremonies at the Naval Building will begin at 8 a.m. and the race will start at 8:30. There will be time set aside earlier for walk-up registrations. People can also register through the Travis Manion Foundation. A one-mile family fun run/walk will also be available.