The battalion suffered 48 casualties in Iraq — 46 Marines and two Navy Corpsmen — giving them the unwanted distinction of being the battalion with one of the highest casualty rates of the war. On Saturday the May 25, they will be running from Montauk to Ground Zero in Manhattan to pay tribute to their fallen comrades and to honor the sacrifice of Sag Harbor’s own Jordan C. Haerter and Joe Theinert of Shelter Island, who were both killed in overseas combat. The battalion will also be running in honor of the first responders lost on September 11, 2001.
The route will take the battalion from Montauk through Sag Harbor, over the LCpl Jordan Haerter Veterans’ Memorial Bridge, down Main Street and on to Ground Zero in New York City. The run will begin in Montauk at 7 a.m. on Saturday and will end 26 hours later at Ground Zero.
In order to honor the runners and pay tribute to military heroes on Memorial Day, Jordan’s Initiative — created in honor of his son by Christian Haerter — would like to have 48 military veterans hold flags along the bridge while the Marines run by. The 48 flags will represent the 48 souls lost by the members of the battalion.
Haerter asks any veterans interested in participating to contact him at 725-2489. The not-for-profit will provide the flags, which will then be donated to the Village of Sag Harbor to fly on Main Street for years to come.