Saturday morning the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams participated in the annual 5K Race for Freedom in the Lehigh Valley Parkway. This race is held in memory of Ashly Moyer, a 21-year-old Lehigh Valley native who was serving in the War in Iraq. Ashly was killed in action when an IED, better known as a roadside bomb, exploded under her armored vehicle in March 2007.
Ashly was the 21st person from Lehigh Valley and the 71st female service member to die since the war began. Every year the team participates in the event as an act of community service.
Being from the Lehigh Valley, the race has a more profound meaning for me. Celebrating the life of someone my age and from my area who died while fighting for our freedom in another country, let alone in another hemisphere, is something you don’t really think about as a college student. It’s something you never think about unless it directly affects you. Other things are on your mind at this age, like, “when is that 10-page paper due?” Or, “where is the big party this Saturday?”
And then, on the day of this race, you start to think of other questions that soldiers face … the ones that you normally would never think of … the ones like, “am I going to have enough ammunition in case of a firefight?” or “am I ever going to see my family again?” You quickly realize that the 10-page paper and big party aren’t really that important anymore. The questions and “problems” we face here don’t compare to the questions and problems that our armed forces face, especially when deployed.
It’s easy to moan and groan over waking up early on a Saturday morning to run a 5K. What’s not so easy is leaving your family, friends and home to fight and protect the freedoms we enjoy. And on Saturday morning, we partook in the celebration of a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice for her country.