KANSAS CITY, MIssouri - Saturday’s 9/11 remembrance ceremonies will be seen and heard all over the metro. However, one man, Greg Vaughn, is taking matters into his own hands.
At about seven o’clock Saturday morning, Vaughn took off on a 50 mile run with American flag in hand.
He’s running in honor of John Glaser, a Shawnee firefighter who was killed in the line of duty this May. Vaughn never knew the six year fire department veteran but wanted to say thank-you.
The flag Vaughn left with from the Shawnee Fire Department headquarters will be presented to Glaser’s wife, children and brother at the closing ceremonies of the Patriots' Run at the Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe.
He says, "We've got to keep their memory alive, keep having events like this and people who will come out and run in honor of them."
There, Vaughn continued his journey with an additional nine hours and eleven minutes of running.
Patriots' Run Director Tony Drew said, "We can't forget the men and women who go out there and prevent the next 9/11."
Vaughn will finish his day at 9:11 p.m., honoring the individuals and service men and women who lost their lives in Manhattan, New York nine years ago.
The American Gold Star Mothers had a booth at Saturday's Patriots' Run. The group consists of women who have lost children in the military. Several mothers shared their stories and patriotic passions with NBC Action News.
Debbie Austin lost her son, Shane, in a grenade attack in Iraq four years ago. He was 19 at the time. Now, she dedicates her life to saying thank-you, "When he was in heaven, they decided the best gift he could give me was his strength."
Austin continues, "It feels good to be able to go up and say thank you because I can see how their face lights up when they're recognized and that's very important to me."
She hopes her son's life can be a reminder to others of the price of freedom. It's a strong message she sends to other metro residents on this 9/11 anniversary and for years to come.