SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Hundreds of people spent Saturday morning supporting the families of fallen first responders and military members at the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire’s 14th Savannah Mile.
“I’m out here to support our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for the service," said Sonny Jelinek, a firefighter. "We support all first responders whether they’re fire, police, EMS or anyone else who gives a hand.”
Jelinek was one of the runners in the “heroes heat” racing through downtown in his protective gear.
Despite the heat on Saturday, he said the run is a small way to honor those who gave so much.
“This is nothing compared to the sacrifice of our brothers and sisters, so I think giving our all today is the best that we can do at this moment in their memory,” Jelinek said.
The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire makes sure those memories and the families left behind, many of whom walked in their loved one’s honor on Saturday, aren’t forgotten.
“Knowing that their families and their loved ones are going to be supported by the community even after, it makes you remember the good in the world,” said runner Rose Brooks.
So many people registered to run the Savannah Mile this year, the race hit capacity.
“It’s moving, it’s inspiring, it’s motivating,” said Julie Nischwitz, who ran.
Hundreds of others lined the course, and runners say that seeing support is overwhelming.
“To see the amount of support the community has for that profession is amazing," said Janet Howard, who is married to a firefighter. “Being the wife of a public servant like that, I mean, it really makes us feel good. We appreciate it.”
Seeing that support is exactly why Jelinek says he brought his son, Casey, to the race.
“I want to show Casey the support of all the fellow first responders," Jelinek said. "We have such an amazing group here. It’s a wonderful feeling. It really energizes me, and it’s great to show Casey that energy.”