US Marshal Service hosts 8th annual Fallen Hero Honor Run in Chicago

CHICAGO — Hundreds of first responders, including police officers, firefighters and agents from a wide range of federal and state agencies, hit the pavement early Friday morning to honor fallen heroes killed while serving in the line of duty.

A rainy and chilly Friday morning didn’t stop participates from getting out around dawn and lacing up their gym shoes to remember men and women who lost their lives serving their communities.

Dionne Mhoon, the mother of Aréanah Preston, says runs like these, remind her of the very day her daughter was shot and killed coming home from her shift, still in uniform, in Avalon Park during an attempted robbery.

“It feels like May 6, it feels like the same day,” Mhoon said.

The partner of fallen Chicago officer including Chicago police officer Ella French, Carlos Yanez Junior, now attends in her memory.

“We’re here for each other, Ella French’s mom. I text her everyday so it’s like a family. I’ve been put into that. You feel their pain. You know their pain,” Mhoom said.

For Dionne, it’s a sense of community, to keep her daughter’s memory clear and present.

“Hearing her name among those other fallen officers, it’s overwhelming sometimes,” she said.

Aréanah died a week before she was to receive her master’s degree in criminology.

“She wanted to make a change. She was this little person who thought she could save the world. She had these big dreams. These big goals. I was like ‘child, how are you doing this,'” she said.

For now, that change comes in the form of a foundation Dionne began — called Peace for Preston. Dionne says the foundation is to help underprivileged youth.

“We go into schools and take them on field trips. We’re going to the mayor’s office next month,”

She tries to carry on the mission of helping lift up Chicago’s youth, as those who serve carry on hers and other fallen first responder legacies.

200 first responders and some of their loved ones somberly gripped hands in prayer outside of Federal Plaza to honor fellow colleagues who lost their lives on duty.

The gathering marked the 8th U.S. Marshal Service Fallen Hero Honor Run.

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Participants ran four and a half miles from Federal Plaza to the Gold Star Families Memorial near Soldier Field and back to Federal Plaza to honor our fallen heroes.

Families had opportunities to remember their loved ones during a ceremony at the event.

The fallen heroes run was started in 2016 after deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells died in the line of duty on March 10, 2015. The run originally started in Missouri but has now spread throughout the country.

“She needs to be honored. Her story needs to be remembered.”

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