Taylor County law enforcement carries American flag every step of memorial run

MEDFORD, Wis. (WSAW) -- For five miles, from Stetsonville to Medford, community members watched those who protect and serve show their appreciation for law enforcement officers, like themselves, who died to save lives on September 11, 18 years ago.

"They gave the ultimate sacrifice, as well as our military that signed up afterwards," said Taylor County Sheriff Larry Woebbeking. "What we wanted to do is just show a display of patriotism that we didn't forget those who were lost on that day many years ago."

The symbol of our country, an American flag, was carried every step of the way.

"Everyone got a chance to carry the flag personally... have it in our hands," Woebbeking added.

The memorial run included deputies, correctional staff and other law enforcement volunteers in Taylor County. One of those was correctional officer, Jeffrey Briggs.

Briggs' family was there in support.

"I'm really thankful that he's always able to protect our country," said his son, Hudson Briggs.

It was a chance to learn a lesson of respect and the honor of sacrifice.

"They sacrificed their lives to help others and try to save their lives," said his daughter, Sydney.

Briggs' other son, Jaden, agreed.

"I really appreciate all the officers that died saving, trying to save some people in the Twin Towers that collapsed."

It's something Sheriff Woebbeking said is important for young people to learn.

"People my age, middle-aged people, I mean we can distinctively remember when it happened exactly what we were doing. It impacted us very deeply," he explained. "We have a lot of young people that didn't really experience it firsthand."

That's why Briggs and his wife Shanna Briggs made it a point to teach their kids about the history.

"Even our community is remembering those who have fallen, protecting our country, and our community wants to support those that keep us safe," said Shanna.

This is the first year a memorial run was held. The hope is to make it a tradition and include even more emergency personnel in the future.