Thousands turned out to honor fallen first responders who died in the line of duty at the annual Run to Remember race in Boston Saturday.
“I would click my fingers and wish that no more first responders have to give their lives in the service,” said runner Joe Grayton.
Grayton and many runners also paid tribute to service members who are still alive .
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“My boyfriend and my brother and my father are all in law-enforcement. So kind of close to home,” said Korinne Robertson.
This year’s race honored five first responders in particular, including Weymouth Police Sergeant Michael Chesna.
Weymouth Police Chief, Richard Grimes says it’s been difficult without him.
“I’m not going to say it’s easy for them but they are getting through it,” Grimes said. “It’s not something that you get over it but we get through it.”
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross says the event helps the memories of fallen first responders live on.
”We are never going to forget our first responder families or our military that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
The life of Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy was also honored by runners and Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie.
“He’s a friend,” Lavoie said. “He’s going to be sorely missed but always remembered.”
Other fallen first responders honored at Saturday’s race include, Berwick, Maine Fire Captain Joel Barnes, Detective Benjamin Campbell of the Maine State Police and Connecticut State Police.
8500 people participated in today’s event represent make 50 states and 20 different countries.
Everyone who crossed the finish line also raised money for Boston’s Kids at Risk programs and first responder initiatives.
For some, perhaps even better than crossing the finish line, was the chance to just say thank you.
“I have friends that are fireman and I really appreciate the service that they give,” Grayton said.