Running is part of our daily routines. Running to catch the bus. Running to stay fit. Running to clear our thoughts at the end of a long day. But for a select group of Coast Guard men and women, running isn’t just part of the routine; running is to remember.
For the past few months Coast Guard members have prepared for CG Remember, a global event where servicemembers, dependents and civilians come together to honor the memory of Coast Guard members killed in the line of duty. Leading the movement is Lt. Lucy Love.
Love is currently the assistant chief of contingency planning and force readiness at Sector Miami. In this role, she is the ready for operations team supervisor, a position responsible for ensuring units under operational control of the sector are trained, qualified, certified and outfitted. With four multi-mission stations, eight patrol cutters – including six fast response cutters – and three aids to navigation teams, her duties are endless.
This position alone is enough to fill a schedule, but Love’s dedication to service and shipmates extends into her off-duty hours as well. When she heard about a remembrance event in 2011 she wondered if her fellow servicemembers could do more to remember fallen shipmates. And do more they did.
In what originally started as a one-man event, Love’s expanded vision grew to a 93-person relay team held in conjunction with the KEYS100 ultra marathon. Instead of a single route through the Florida Keys, multiple routes were planned with 17 units across the country and throughout the world, from Kuwait to Hawaii, with each participant wearing a shirt with the name of a Coast Guardsman lost in the performance of their duties.
“This Run to Remember was more than just a run,” said Love upon completion of last year’s event. “It was about connecting with the fallen heroes and their families to let them know that even though they are lost, they will never be forgotten.”
For the past few months, Love has worked to make the 2013 event an even bigger moment of remembrance and bigger success. Planned for May 18, even those who are unable to run will participate by walking, biking or swimming.
“Though the Run to Remember Lt. Lucy Love has set a precedent for remembering our fallen not by words, but by actions, an idea that keeps them at the forefront of our thoughts,” wrote Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Lawler. “The act of running serves as a physical reminder of the pain of their loss and the strength needed to carry on. In contrast, the elation felt at the finish line is a reminder to celebrate their contribution to our service, to those whose lives were saved, and to a nation that remains free.”
Without Love’s vision, effort and organization an event of this scale would not be possible. The level of detail involved in the coordination of more than 3,000 people and 20 events is overwhelming. Despite this, she remains humble and true to the cause.
“Never once will you hear her use the word ‘me.’ She is truly a selfless person and when you talk to her you know it’s about those we lost. Pure selflessness,” added Lawler.
The CG Remember event will be held May 18, 2013. For more information visit their webpage or the Coast Guard Foundation’s Fallen Hero Scholarship Fund.