GUNNISON, Utah – The 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on America is being remembered in central Utah.
This weekend, Gunnison is hosting the United We March: Gunnison Gut Check.
The two-day event features a parade on Main Street on Friday evening and a marathon on Saturday.
Justen Mellor founded the event in 2018.
“9/12 is the most important day in this era in our lives. You think about everybody came together,” Mellor said. “They knocked us down, but we sure got back together.”
He recalled the unity felt across the nation following the terrorist attacks and hopes this event finds some of that lost bond and brings the community together.
“If you just care for one another, that’s the greatest gift we can give to these heroes,” Mellor said. “We want to show them we care about them.”
The ‘Gut Check’ pays tribute to military veterans, those who currently serve and first responders like firefighters and police officers.
Some who run or walk in the marathon will do so while wearing a 35-pound weighted backpack.
“Whoever shows up the morning of the march has chosen not to be average that day,” Mellor said.
The grueling trek is designed to allow participants to reflect on the sacrifices made by fellow Americans.
“When crap gets real, do you have it in you to get the job done?” Zachary Jensen said when asked about the meaning of a gut check. “It’s a will and a passion a lot of people have lost or don’t know they have it.”
Mellor hopes this event expands to other towns in Utah and across the country.
Money raised will be donated to several charities. Information about registering for the race or making a donation can be found at facebook.com/UnitedWeMarch.