Houston military veterans, first responders honored
Despite the lack of a Veterans Day parade in Houston, the city still honored military veterans and first responders in a big way Saturday.
The morning started with the Travis Manion 9/11 Heroes Run. Usually a national event reserved for September, the 5K had to be postponed because of Hurricane Harvey.
Lt. Travis Manion was killed in action in the Iraq War in 2007.
"I've done every one of them," said Douglas Griffith, with the Houston Police Officers' Union, referring to the run. "The only reason we get to do what we do as police officers is because the military is out there serving and protecting us across this great world.”
"We had first responders and military chanting in front of us and chanting behind us, it was awesome," said one participant, identified as Kelly M.
Thomas Cardoza, a Houston fire captain, ran the race in full gear.
"It's about an extra 25 pounds, with absolutely no air movement so it's exhausting," Cardoza said.
Cardoza was a first responder during Harvey but said by wearing his gear he hoped to sacrifice a little more for everyone else.
"This is an honor for me to be a part of this. I love the military, I love the police and to come together like this to support them it really is truly my honor," Cardoza said.
After the run was over, the traditional Veterans Day ceremony took place. Speeches from various dignitaries, including Mayor Sylvester Turner, were delivered in front of the reflection pond outside the City Hall.
There was a 21-gun salute and a moment of silence in memory of the signing of the World War I armistice.
"To be able to recognize, and for the Coast Guard especially, we're veterans as well, we're also first responders, it's extra special,” said Capt. Kevin Oditt, a commander with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston.
All the proceeds from Heroes Run registration, excluding cost of shirts, will be donated to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
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