WOODBURY - In many places across America, teaching the meaning of Memorial Day is a losing battle. But teacher Jim Theinert, of Shelter Island, is winning the war by taking his greatest lesson outside the classroom.
Theinert went the distance to remember the fallen through the Hope for the Warriors Memorial 100 Run, a 136-mile relay race that started Saturday in Montauk and ended Sunday at Ground Zero in Manhattan. His brother, 24-year-old 1st Lt. Joseph Theinert, was killed in action on June 4, 2010 while protecting his platoon from a roadside bomb.
"My mission now is to pick up the torch for my brother and continue to show people what's right, what's good, how veterans should be treated," Theinert says.
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In Sag Harbor, runners honored Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter with a lap over a bridge named in his memory. The 19-year-old Marine was killed in Iraq in 2008.
Runners aimed to honor the fallen and depict the true meaning of Memorial Day through the 26-hour relay race.
"Being out on the road, carrying the flag, it puts it in people's faces that this holiday may be a little bit different than what you think it is," Theinert says. "It's not the unofficial start of summer. It's a time to sit back and reflect on those people who we've lost."
For an extended interivew with Theinert's brother, click on the video on the left or go to Channel 612 and select News 12 Extra.