HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — Huntington Mayor Richard Strick is putting on his running shoes to help raise money to place an archway for the city’s Purple Heart Memorial.
“This is something that matters deeply to me and also to our community,” Mayor Richard Strick said. “As we look to raise the fund for this we want to make sure that it’s a fitting tribute. We want to make sure it’s something that is engineered well and calls proper attention to the sacrifice and cost of war.”
The archway is the next step in creating a space in the city that honors veterans. In 2015, members of the Huntington Common Council and Mayor passed a resolution to designate Huntington as a Purple Heart City. A memorial to Purple Heart recipients was placed in the circle surrounding the T-33A (jet trainer) in Huntington’s Memorial Park.
Now the city is working to raise money to create a gateway arch over Huntington’s designated Purple Heart Corridor on West Park Drive near the Historic Forks of the Wabash trailhead.
“This is something we want to do that we think just helps calls more attention to folks even as they are passing through town to the tremendous sacrifice and cost of every war,” Strick said.
Strick is currently participating in the Marine Corps Marathon trifecta. The trifecta includes a 10K race, which is 6 miles, a marathon which is a little over 26 miles, and the ultra 50k, which is a little over 32 miles. In total, he will run more than 64 miles.
Due to COVID-19, the races are being done virtually instead of in Virginia. This means that each race must be completed on a different day. All of the races must be complete by Veterans Day Nov. 11.
“The key is preparation,” Mayor Strick said. “It’s about making sure you go out and do the miles and then making sure support and accountability along the way as well.”
Strick started running in high school while participating in other sports. However, over the last few years, he says he’s started running more regularly. His accountability is a group of friends in the community. The group ran the Fort for Fitness mini-marathon together and running together to help get Strick his miles in.
Wednesday night, Strick completed the 10k and plans to finish the final two in the upcoming weeks.
Donations can be online, by mail, or in-person. Checks can be made out to the Huntington County Community Foundation and designate it to the Purple Heart Memorial.
To learn more about the Purple Heart Memorial Charitable Fund or to donate online click here.