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March to the Capitol

Posted August 10, 2017 in Web Exclusives

A local memorial walk for those who lost their lives on 9/11

March to the Capitol walkers. (Photo submitted) (From left to right) Denise Kinkade, Brandon Glenn, Michael Dunkin, Bob Lyons, Shawnna Freeze and Tyler Larsen take part in last year's inaugural March to the Capitol. Lyons came up with the 21-mile walk in memory of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

March to the Capitol walkers. (Photo submitted) (From left to right) Denise Kinkade, Brandon Glenn, Michael Dunkin, Bob Lyons, Shawnna Freeze and Tyler Larsen take part in last year’s inaugural March to the Capitol. Lyons came up with the 21-mile walk in memory of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Bob Lyons was scheduled to work at a location about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center.

The buildings were attacked before his carpool arrived.

From the rooftop of his office in West Orange, New Jersey he saw the towers burn.

“When I saw the hit that the fire and police took that day, and our country, what we went through and how we were hit, it just struck me deeply,” Lyons says. “It’s one of those things where this is our generation’s Pearl Harbor.”

So the Clive resident created the March to the Capitol, a 21-mile memorial walk in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11.

This year’s event begins at 9:11 a.m. on Sept. 11 at Centennial Park in Waukee, 1255 Warrior Lane.

“The only thing we ask is that people bring with them is an American flag, big or small,” says Lyons, who stresses that this is a nonpolitical event.

The walk is free, but Lyons requests people register to ensure they have enough food and drinks. The first 100 to register by Aug. 30 will receive free T-shirts.

Participants can join the walk for whatever distance fits their schedule and ability. There will be seven rest stops at firehouses along the way. The walk ends on the west grounds of the State Capitol. Participants will have to make arrangements for their return transportation.

Last year’s inaugural event was on a much smaller scale. They had no website, sponsorship or infrastructure set up, so he didn’t promote it, he says.

Lyons thought he’d be walking alone, but was surprised when five others signed up, four of them firefighters who wore their gear during the trek. Others joined them along the way, and they finished with 12 walkers, he says.

A similar walk inspired the March to the Capitol, the March to the Arch, held in Lyons’ hometown of St. Louis. He did that walk for seven years. Lyons wanted to create something similar when he and his family moved to Iowa.

Main sponsors of this year’s event are Mattress Firm, Smart Honda, Five Talents Financial Management Group and Team Roberts Real Estate Concepts.

To register and for more information, go to www.marchtothecapitol.com. You can also email marchtothecapitol@yahoo.com, call 515-318-7320 or check out March to the Capitol — Des Moines on Facebook for information.

“Wherever I live, I’m going to do the walk,” Lyons says.





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