Annapolis Resident Rear Admiral Hugh D. Wetherald (Navy, Retired), a survivor of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his actions on that day, will be the featured guest speaker at the 2021 Annapolis 9/11 Heroes Run Sunday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m. at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“We are so honored to have RADM Wetherald join us this year as we commemorate the 20thanniversary of 9/11 and pay tribute to the 14 USNA graduates who perished on the planes, in the Pentagon, and in the World Trade Center,” said Race Director Natanya Levioff. “He was in the Pentagon when the plane hit and his personal story will bring back into focus the nation’s grief and loss on that day, and the multitude of courageous acts taken to protect our country and each other.”
In the immediate period after the plane hit the Pentagon, RADM Wetherald repeatedly penetrated the building in the area of the Navy Command Center in an attempt to rescue trapped shipmates.
“As an Annapolis resident, I am pleased to be a part of this community gathering to honor those we lost on September 11, including two of my close friends and colleagues in the Pentagon attack,” said RADM Wetherald. “I hope by sharing my memories of that day with participants of the Annapolis 9/11 Heroes Run, I will inspire them to run not only to remember those who died in the attacks, but to also honor those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.”
The 34-year Navy veteran currently serves as a Research Staff Member at the Institute of Defense Analysis. His last assignment in the Navy was as the Deputy Director for Resources and Acquisition, J-8, The Joint Staff. Prior to that, he served as the commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 and Task Force 76 where he was responsible for the expeditionary and amphibious operations throughout U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, ranging from humanitarian and disaster relief missions to full combat operations.
Over the course of his military career, RADM Wetherald served numerous duty assignments at sea and ashore and is highly decorated. He has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), the Legion of Merit (four awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, various campaign and service medals and seven Battle “E” awards for shipboard excellence.
Hosted by the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF), the Annapolis 9/11 Heroes Run includes a 5K and 1M Family Fun Run along with a 5K GORUCK division that unites the community in remembering the sacrifices of the heroes of the September 11th attacks and in the wars since. Proceeds support TMF programs that empower veterans and families of the fallen to develop character in future generations and create thriving communities. Participants can register at:911heroesrun.org/Annapolis
The 9/11 Heroes Run 5K series was inspired by Marine 1stLt Travis Manion, a Naval Academy graduate, who was killed by a sniper in Iraq in April 2007 while saving his wounded teammates.
Before his final deployment, Travis visited Rescue One in NYC—famous for losing almost all of their men on 9/11—and returned home with a deeper passion about why he was fighting in Iraq. Shortly after his death, Travis’ family established the Foundation in his name to empower our nation’s veterans and families of the fallen to develop character in future generations.
Each year on or near September 11th, local volunteers organize 9/11 Heroes Runs on behalf of TMF at more than 90 race locations around the world. Participants include more than 60,000 runners/walkers of all levels and ages.
We spoke with Race Director Tanya Levioff a while back. Have a listen!