Walk a mile in someone’s shoes, and you’ll often find a deeper purpose behind each step. For Napoleon fire fighter Tony Cruz, it’s 3.43 miles walked each day to honor the 343 firefighter who lost their lives on 9/11.
“Not only do I want to honor the fallen, but I want to remind people of how good we were to each other back then, and so this is just my little way of doing that,” said Cruz.
It’s all a part of the 343-promise virtual challenge. It’s a yearlong project, and with every new day, and every step Cruz looks down at one of the heroes lost.
“I just kind of think about them a little bit. Think about their families, and what they did for us, and what we as first responders go out and do, sometimes say a prayer for my brothers, and sisters,” said Cruz.
It’s not always easy for Cruz to hop on the treadmill. He’s recovering from pelvic cancer that for a time left him unable to walk.
“There are some days there’s too much pain to even get started, so we fight through the bad days, and hope for the good days,” said Cruz.
Cruz is looking for others to join him on this journey, either by donating to the cause to help the families of first responders, or to get out and walk or run themselves. In the end, he hopes to inspire others in what’s been a difficult time for so many people.
“It’s about it encouraging people. Do that little something good. If we all did something just a little good for each other every day, I think the world would be a better place, and we’d be back in that 9/12 9/13 mentality. “
Cruz hasn’t returned to the fire department just yet. He’s still got some recovery left, but each day you’ll find him here in his garage until he honors each and every firefighter lost.
Below is a link to the project.