An estimated 21,400 Arizona residents serve full time in the military, 5,400 serve as reservists, and 7,200 are enlisted in the National Guard, totaling 34,000 Arizonans in military service. As the anniversary of September 11th approaches, please keep in mind the sacrifices that military families make throughout the Grand Canyon State.
On Sept. 11, please join the DEN team and the Military Channel as we partner with America Supports You, a Department of Defense program recognizing citizens’ support for our military and communicating that support to members of our Armed Forces and their families. America Supports You connects citizens and corporations who are looking for ways to support the military with homefront organizations that are devoted to helping the troops and their families. The Military Channel is working with our partners to spread the word about these significant events.
In 2005, Pentagon employees wishing to create an event that would commemorate the attack on the Pentagon and honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001, created what has become a new national tradition, the America Supports You FREEDOM WALK . On September 11, 2005, over 15,000 people walked from the Pentagon to the National Mall to pay tribute to those who died? to renew their commitment to freedom and the values of our country and to honor our veterans, past and present. The response from people across the country who learned of that first walk was overwhelming. In 2006, the fifth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, volunteers and America Supports You homefront groups organized FREEDOM WALKS in every state in the Union, including more than 130 cities.
FREEDOM WALKS come in many different shapes and sizes. The San Diego, CA walk had an “open course”. People chose a time to walk from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. that worked best with their schedules. In St. Louis, MO all walkers wore yellow t-shirts and formed a “human yellow ribbon” on the Anheuser-Busch Center field. The present Governor and the former Governor of Oklahoma co-chaired the FREEDOM WALK in Oklahoma City attended by over 5,000 people. In Sebring, OH, 9-year-old Colton Lockner organized a FREEDOM WALK for the town’s nearly 3,000 residents with the support of his Mayor and sponsorship for t-shirts from his local Pizza Pan. The College Gate Elementary School in Anchorage, AL walked around their school five times and concluded the event by writing essays on what freedom meant to each of them.
This new national tradition continues to grow. We encourage each city to plan a walk that best fits and exemplifies their community. Walks can be held early in the morning, during the lunch hour or after work. They can be held on September 11, or around the date, depending on local traffic patterns. However they are organized, the America Supports You FREEDOM WALKS are a wonderful opportunity for cities, work places, schools, or groups of citizens to gather together and remember this significant day and those protecting our freedom. FREEDOM WALKS are also an excellent tool to use as a history lesson for students.