Jessica Mathews /

Registration is open for a new 5K run/walk honoring the first responders and heroes of September 11th.

Livingston County Veteran Services, Howell Recreation, and local first responders are partnering to host the first annual 9/11 Never Forget 5K Trail Run/Walk. The race will be held on September 16th at Fillmore County Park off McClements Road in Genoa Township.

The event recognizes the tragic events of September 11th and aims to honor those heroes and their sacrifices.

Veterans Services Director Ramon Baca told WHMI he’s always respected firefighters, police, and EMS as they're the ones initially running into harms way. He became solder when he was 18-years-old and stayed in the Army for 25 years as an infantryman. Baca said “9/11 had a profound effect on all of us as it changed out our lives forever; it changed those who were born thereafter forever – more than they even know”.

Baca talked about the infamous day the Twin Towers and Pentagon were attacked – saying as a result, first responders protected the home front and adjusted their tactics to a volatile world while service members fought on unforgiving battlefields for the next 20 years.

Baca fought for a total of 48-months four different deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He said he’s seen soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice and homes torn apart after returning because of the time spent away – sometimes due to PTSD that some suffered upon return.

Baca stressed they must continue to honor the legacy of all those who have sacrificed – adding the event is for solidarity amongst all the specialties to assure that no one in the community ever forgets.

Baca noted that Fillmore Park is centrally located and a phenomenal park that everyone might not know about so it’s an opportunity to showcase a new location. The route is a winding, flat course but not necessarily stroller friendly due to the trails.

Attendees can run or walk but it will be a timed 5K. There will be two age categories with trophies awarded to the top male and female finishers in both: those under age 65 and those older than 65.

A portion of the raised funds will benefit Livingston County Parks.

Registration is currently open. To guarantee a T-shirt and finisher medal, participants need to register by August. Those wishing to participate are asked to register online. A link is provided.

Volunteers are being sought to help out in various capacities, along with sponsors. Those interested can call 517-546-6338 or email