Alaska runs to remember

Coast Guard Run to Remember participants stand in the rain to register for the run in Juneau, Alaska, May 17, 2013. Run to Remember proceeds went to the Fallen Hero Scholarship Fund for dependents of Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives in the line of duty. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

Coast Guard Run to Remember participants stand in the rain to register for the run in Juneau, Alaska, May 17, 2013. Run to Remember proceeds went to the Fallen Hero Scholarship Fund for dependents of Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives in the line of duty. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

A group of Juneau Coast Guardsmen and residents huddle at the starting line of the 2013 Run to Remember. Standing in the chilly rain, the shivering participants look ready to kick off the race, but first there is something that must be done.

Standing in front of the antsy crowd, Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Lewis, a maritime enforcement specialist with the Coast Guard Sector Juneau enforcement department, announces a moment of silence in remembrance of 135 Coast Guardsmen lost in the line of duty since 1973.

For a few solemn moments, whispering rainfall is the only sound in the parking lot.

The race began shortly after, and like hundreds of Coast Guard members, dependents and supporters across the nation, the eager participants take off down the trail.

The Run to Remember, though started by just one Coast Guardsman in Key West, Fla., in 2011, has really found legs in Alaska.

Despite this being only the second year that the run was held in Alaska, record numbers showed up for the event. Not only Coast Guard members, but also a supportive community came out to run, remember and give to the dependents of fallen Coast Guardsman.

At the end of the two race days, May 17 and 18, donation totals reached about $5300 for the Coast Guard Foundation. There were more than 275 runners across the state.

As Memorial Day approaches, a day that also focuses on remembering those lost in service to their country, take some time over the long weekend to think about the sacrifice men and women of all the armed services have made over the years.

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