NEW YORK -- New York police and firefighters joined forces with the Marine Corps on Thursday for a two-mile motivational run through the lower east side of Manhattan led by a “wounded warrior.”
The formation included approximately 150 leathernecks from the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, who were followed by members of the New York City Fire Department and Port Authority and New York police departments. The run ended at the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks and was followed by a brief memorial service for the victims of the attacks.
Many of the firefighters, police officers and Marines in the formation were inspired into service following the attacks. For Gunnery Sgt. Angel Barcenas, a double-amputee “wounded warrior” who was invited to New York from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to lead the run, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center was the first in the series of events that led to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Gunny Barcenas epitomizes the spirit and courage of [other severely injured service members,” said Al Giordano, deputy executive director and co-founder of Wounded Warrior Project. “It’s typical of their drive and determination to overcome their injuries and move on,” Giordano said.
“That's probably my last run in formation with the Marine Corps,” said Barcenas, whose legs were amputated below the knees due to a roadside bomb in Iraq last July. “It's definitely a good way to end it, where it all started.”