By Terry Groover
For the past three years, Capt. Josh Reason and Cpl. Will Biswell, of the Yukon Fire Department, have joined other firefighters from across the state to run in memory of those who died in the1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Cpl. Vince Mueggenborg joined the pair Sunday to participate in the half-marathon event of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.
Reason is the organizer of the department’s 911 Memorial Stair Climb, which is held in annually in September. The stair climb honors firefighters who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.
Reason said joining the OKC Memorial Marathon seemed appropriate.
“This is a similar type of event. You are climbing for Americans who died in a tragic event. We wanted to be a part of it, but we wanted to be a part of it in our own way … as first responders,” Reason said.
“We wanted to be a part of this event and honor those who died in Oklahoma.”
The three walked along side firefighters from Bethany, who also took part in this year’s event.
The group began working out in March, doing regular workouts, but added 40-pound weighted vests to help improve their stamina.
“If you are in pretty good shape already, it’s not that difficult with your gear on. That’s the hardest thing. You’ve got all of your gear on, and you are walking 4½ miles,” he said.
But once the walk was completed, Reason said, he felt good.
“It is a great honor. You feel good when you get done. It’s a challenge, and it’s tough. But it’s good to honor those who died. You are proud you can make it through,” he said.
Yukon Fire Chief Kevin Jones said he was proud of his firefighters for their participation in the event.
“It makes you proud of them. It is all on their own. It is their decision to go. It shows people that it is important to go out and make a statement about who we are,” Jones said.
The chief said he had friends who worked as first responders at the scene of the Murrah Building. He also lost friends in the bombing.
He said the firefighters’ participation shows that those who died have not been forgotten.
“It really is a credit to say ‘let’s not forget what happens to a community.’ We want to remember how people reacted to that. “To see our guys go out and expend that effort, I’m really proud of that,” the chief said.