BALTIMORE (WJZ) — On this Memorial Day, hundreds of Baltimoreans laced up their running shoes to help some of our heroes.  It happened early Monday morning in Canton.

Ron Matz reports a special 5K raised money for the families of one of America’s most elite fighting forces.

It’s the second annual Special Operations Memorial Day 5K Run. Hundreds of runners hit the streets of Canton under clear blue skies to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation.

“I think I’m the one who planted this seed a couple of years ago for this event.  I’m a retired Navy SEAL.  It was an easy sell…Everybody wanted to play a part,” said Tom Katana, event organizer.  “The Navy SEAL Foundation is really unique. It takes care of the full life cycle for Navy SEALS and their families.  Three guys coming back to Virginia Beach today were shot in Afghanistan.  The Navy SEAL Foundation kicks in.  They take care of hotels, counseling and whatever that family needs until they’re OK.”

Baltimore City firefighters and the city’s Fraternal Order of Police came together to honor their brothers and sisters.

“It’s very important for our fallen heroes.  This is a way of giving back and showing them we appreciate what they’ve done for our country and what they continue to do,” said Gene Ryan, Vice President, Baltimore City FOP Lodge #3.  “We have fallen heroes also, so we can relate. We know about the sacrifices they have made and their families have made.”

More than 500 runners took part in the 5K.

“It means a lot.  It means I’m giving back to the guys who really made the ultimate sacrifice.  It’s humbling to come out here and run today,” said Aidrine Murphy, Baltimore City police officer.

Mission BBQ provided the food. It’s humbling for them, too.

“It’s a beautiful day, too.  What better way to start a Memorial Day than to remember what’s important.  It’s a day of perspective,” said Bill Krause, founder of Mission BBQ.

“It’s a good run.  It means everything.  I’m just so happy to see people come out and celebrate the real meaning of Memorial Day.  Whether they go out later to their barbecues, they’re recognizing what Memorial Day really is today,” said Laura Finney, runner.  “I run with a group called ‘Wear Blue Run to Remember.’  We run all our races to remember the fallen.  It was started by a woman who lost her husband and it’s a great organization and I’m happy to support it.”

The 5K started and finished at Boston Street Running.

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