COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - Runners made their way down the Columbus Riverwalk to show their support for veterans.
"It means a lot for us to be able to get out here and celebrate freedom that we have every day," adds Ashli Dunn, Columbus resident. "We support the veterans and our active-duty members in the military."
While participating in the 5K, it gives others the chance to reflect on those who have served and sacrificed.
"It's because of our service members that we are able to do what we do every day and live in this country, and have the freedom that we have," adds Kristi Dickerson, Columbus resident. "Without them, I couldn't do what I do on a daily basis and enjoy our country."
Each one of the people that participated -- whether they elected to walk or run -- is not only doing it to raise funds, but also to raise awareness and help veterans as they cope with what goes on after war.
"We have this opportunity to run because of what they've done," adds Patrick Holley, Caledonia resident. "So you can give back by running these races, and as you go, you think of those that can't."
"It's really important to support veterans in our country," added Whitney Brown, Columbus resident. "They fight for us and they do so much to make sure we're safe, [so] we can celebrate our freedom each and every day."
One participant, at 8 years of age, ran with a purpose like no other.
"When I was running, my brain told me to run for my uncle," adds Kaleb Jordan, Jackson resident. "I was supposed to stop at the sign over there, but I said I should do it for my uncle, so I ran the whole way and it was just fun."
Organizers hope the event grows each year so they can reach out to more veterans.
"We're hoping that this as a fundraiser will [make] more funds to come in and we can help more veterans as [that money] comes in," said Judie Holmes, CEO of Richard E. Holmes II Memorial Foundation.
All proceeds raised help benefit the Richard E. Holmes II Memorial Foundation.