TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Since 2001, over 6,000 U-S troops have fallen in the line of duty, while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To remember the fallen soldiers, communities all across the country host their very own memorial runs.
With those conflicts millions of miles away, News 10's Matt Gregory spent the morning at the Wabash Valley's Run for the Fallen to show how close to home these wars hit.
The Wabash Valley's run for the fallen: an ordinary way to remember extraordinary service men and women.
Citizens, former soldiers, and families of the fallen gathered together to remember our heroes one step at a time.
In this year's run for the fallen, several local families joined a group they'd rather not be a part of, but are thankful it exists.
Luckily, sights like the flag-lined, mile-long track around Memorial Stadium are a remarkable way to remember the sacrifice their loved ones made.
Like Jackie Pilkin, the mother of Specialist Arronn Fields of Knightsville, who had fallen just 3 months ago in Afghanistan.
"He was a great kid, a great son. He wasn't perfect, but he was hardworking," Pilkin said.
Spc. Fields family received a flag in his honor.
"It's beautiful; they put up a wreath and his picture. There's a flag with his name tag and everything," she said.
That flag is placed among the lines of flags representing other heroes of the Wabash Valley.
It's a section of the track that runners, walkers and even bikers pause at as they approach.
That's exactly what Jackie did, as she held a quiet vigil at his flag during her lap around the memorial of thousands.
A mother who knows the pain that each one of these flags represent, and the pain still to come.
"It makes my heart hurt a little more…I know that in the past, they [have gone] through what I'm going through now. In the future, there will be more families going through what I'm going through now," she said.
It's a memorial run to honor the fallen, comfort their families and highlight their sacrifice.
The flags for the run for the fallen will be up until August 27.
The community is welcome to visit the flags and continue to walk in honor of the heroes lost.
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