WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- A group of Australian and American firefighters are on the last leg of a cross-country run to honor the civil servicemen and women who lost their lives during the rescue attempts in New York on September 11.
"You just look down the wall and just so many names," noted Michael Jones, an Australian Firefighter. "This is very humbling to be here at the National Police Memorial."
Their journey on foot started in Santa Monica, California, a month ago. They are a band of brothers pushing each other in the name of remembrance to reach the finish line.
"One of the biggest things is the sleep deprivation. We run all hours," explained Jones.
The men are on pace to make it to Ground Zero to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"The 37 Port Authority Police, the 23 NYPD that died on 9-11."
For officer Dan Steffens of the Port Authority, rubbing the name of George Howard on the memorial has great the significance.
Steffens remembers, "The speech that George Bush gave, he held a badge up. It was given by George Howard's mother from the rubble. She reached out and gave it to George Bush, and one night when he gave his speech from the the joint session of Congress, there's a picture of him holding a badge up. That's from a Port Authority Police Officer. So when you see his name it was George Howard."
At the memorial wall, rubbing the names on paper takes on many different meanings for officers and firefighters but the most common is providing a memento for family and loved ones.
Jones said, "It just shows no matter how many oceans there are between us, we are all family, we are all brothers, we are all sisters, we want to look out for each other all the time."
The Tour of Duty Runners are expected to arrive at Ground Zero Saturday Morning.
Written by Alex Trevino
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com