PORTLAND, Maine — One hundred soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines on Sunday participated in a ruck-march during the Maine Marathon to pay tribute to 66 Maine service members, including eight in the Maine Army National Guard, who have died since the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism.
The service members planned to march the 26.2-mile route in full uniform while carrying a 30-pound military backpack to honor the fallen.
Motorists on Interstate 295 in Portland had to adjust travel plans early Sunday morning because of the marathon. Portland Exits 8 north and south and Exit 9 north were closed for a time Sunday morning because of the race. The exits were reopened after 8:30 a.m.
The Maine Marathon Tribute March started at 6 a.m. on Baxter Boulevard and proceeded along Route 1 to Falmouth and then onto Route 88 to Yarmouth. Participants returned along the same route with family members of the fallen participating in the last mile for a 2 p.m. finish on Baxter Boulevard.
The families of the fallen were presented the Maine Gold Star Honorable Service Medal in recognition of their dedication, duty and ultimate sacrifice while serving the state and nation in support of combat operations since Sept. 11, 2001. The State of Maine Gold Star Honor Roll can be found at www.maine.gov/dvem/bvs/Maine_Fallen_Heroes.htm. More information about the march is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.