“Great American Freedom Walk” Tuesday in Westport

Next Tuesday, Sept. 11, starting at 11 a.m., members of Westport American Legion Post 140, along with South Beach VFW Post 3057 and its auxiliaries and representatives from U.S. Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor will participate in the fifth annual local ‘Great American Freedom Walk’.

The Walk honors those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and shows support for military troops overseas.

All community members and visitors are encouraged to join in the two-mile walk at any point on the route to help preserve memories of our nation’s sacrifices for freedom, and are asked to carry small American flags if you have them.

The walk starts with a short opening ceremony at the Westport Maritime Museum in the Marina District, goes to the Westport Fire Hall for a flag raising/ lowering ceremony and the playing of Taps, and then on to the VFW Post Home on E. Pacific Ave.

Following a short keynote speech by Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor Commanding Officer CWO Gary Clark, a light lunch will be served.

Vehicles will travel the route to pick up walkers that tire and do not wish to continue. South Beach Ambulance Service will provide a relief station with water available at the mid-point in the course.

Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense has held an annual commemoration in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11 to pay tribute to the victims who lost their lives

on September 11, 2001. In 2007 on Sept. 11, the Department organized the first “America Supports You” Freedom Walk that began at the Pentagon and culminated on the National Mall. More than 15,000 people participated in the walk.

The idea has steadily gained popularity and ‘Freedom Walks’ have been organized each year since then throughout the nation on or near Sept. 11.