The beginnings this event, go back many years. The Melbourne members of the Tour of Duty team have been participating in, and organising road running events since 1983, claiming the World record for marathon relay road running whilst circumnavigating Australia in 1983 (15,600KMs), then again in 1991, increasing that record to 17,500KMs. It is a long and proud History.
More recently members of this group have participated in the organisation and running of the “ANZAC” runs, 2005, 06 and 07, from The Australian War Museum in Canberra to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 1,100 Kms covered in three days, culminating on Anzac Day. The Anzac (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps ) runs were held to pay respect to the fallen soldiers that have given of their lives to defend our country and heritage. A natural progression of these runs was “The Great Anzac Run”, the groups first International run, an event to raise awareness of “The Anzac Spirit” this run conducted in 2008, covered over 4,000kms, from Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, Turkey to The Australian War Memorial, Hyde Park Corner London. More so than ever, as much as these events are about raising financial funds to assist people in need, there was also an emotional attachment, the awareness. To have run from Gallipoli and travelled through France, to have witnessed the battlefields, the cemeteries and monuments, to see first hand the sacrifices these people made decades before, to see the love and respect that these people are still accorded to this very day, to see Australia’s History overseas and the impact that the service of ordinary people, thrown into extraordinary circumstances made on the World was all at once, a humbling and proud experience.
This journey through Europe could not have been achieved without the assistance of the global community of fire-fighters, it is a family like no other. Throughout Europe we shared the hospitality and kindness of fire-fighters that made that event possible, we learnt that fire-fighters across the globe are so very much alike, in so many ways. Quick to lend a hand, share the load, a joke and a laugh. The willingness to serve and the call to duty is universal.
We also remember that on September 11, 2001, that we sensed and felt the pain of our brothers on the other side of the globe, that part of our family was hurting, that the good people of this World that choose to serve were being transgressed sinfully, tragically. That men and women that answer the call to duty, that live their lives selflessly for others every day, that believe it is their duty is to serve, would fall on this day, would not go home, would leave behind loved ones, would make the ultimate sacrifice. It is this awareness of family and the understanding of the wider global community of people that sacrifice their lives through service that initiated The Tour of Duty.
The Tour of Duty Run in 2010 was an emotional statement. It was the coming together of Australian and American fire-fighters, police officers and emergency service workers. We run to remember the people of 9 11, to honour their sacrifice, their courage, their devotion and commitment to duty. Every mile of this ride is a part of our statement, however humble, that their commitment to duty, to service, will never be forgotten.
The men and women who served their city on September 11 of that year answered their call without question. In terms of service,they set a new standard and raised the bar to a level that can only be matched,never surpassed. By serving locally,they impacted globally… emergency service workers worldwide could only look on in awe,with respect as they responded to the most challenging terrorist attack known to man.
They responded with courage,care,pride and almost certainly a measure of fear. 9/11 changed the World… irreversibly. Terrorism existed before this day,it will always exist and the fight against terrorism will be infinite.
The run across America in 2010 was to acknowledge the bravery,primarily of the 411 first responders who lost their lives,serving their city. We also remembered the civilians who perished, people living their lives,doing their jobs,at the World Trade Centre and the Pilots and people aboard the planes that became the weapons of murder.
We will never forget 9/11. We will never forget the people of 9/11.
Now in 2012 The Tour of Duty Ride across America was born out of the concept to acknowledge and celebrate service. Primarily of our military and of the amazing alliance that exists between our two Nations. Since WW1 Australia has stood by The USA as an ally at every major conflict to this day. It is an alliance that has stood the test of time,an alliance that see’s our military fighting the war against terrorism,that see’s our military sacrificing their lives for peace and freedom. Police Officers,Fire-fighters,Medical responders serve globally at a local level every day,serving and protecting their cities and their people. People who choose to serve,serve because it is their duty.People who serve give others the opportunity to live their lives gainfully,peacefully and above all else, with a sense of freedom.
The ride across America 2012 aims to acknowledge and celebrate the service and sacrifice of our military in the fight for peace.
To acknowledge and celebrate the alliance of our two Nations. To acknowledge and celebrate, service people,people who serve globally and locally with courage,care and a sense of duty. For their willingness to serve and protect,so others may live in peace and freedom.
“We Run, We Ride, Our World Our People”