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'Run To Remember' Is Way For Thousands To Thank Fallen First Responders

CENTURY CITY (CBSLA) -- The "Run to Remember" is an annual event for thousands to help raise money for fallen officers' families.

One CHP officer, Sgt. Steven Licon, was killed in the line of duty Saturday and he was on everyone's mind.

At CBS2/KCAL9's Joy Benedict reports, for those taking part, it's a labor of love.

They took to the streets by the thousands -- in groups, alone, in uniform, carrying flags -- all to honor the fallen.

"We run, we march, we stand for that sacrifice," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore, "And we stand with the promise that we will never forget."

The "Run to Remember" most of all is to honor the first responders who died in the line of duty last year.

For law enforcement, that number was 165.

"I'm not even a runner, but for this, in particular, you just run with your heart," says Hawthorne Police Officer Diane Carmona.

And Officer Carmona, in uniform, ran 10K Sunday.

"The pain is only temporary," she says, "but what their families have to go through and go really feel for the rest of their lives is worse."

In addition to the 10K, there was also a half-marathon and a 5K to encourage runners and walkers alike. It was the fourth annual "Run."

"It means a lot to us to serve the community, to keep it safe, so when people come out to support us, and help us remember, it makes it all worth it," says Bell Police Officer Javier Avila.

In all, about 6,000 participated in the race/walk and more than half were first responders. Many of them also ran in full uniform.

"It's a sense of pride to be honest with you," Carmona says, "they give a lot, to us."

Many wore mourning bands on their uniforms and running gear to recognize CHP's Sgt. Licon who was killed yesterday in Riverside County.

"This morning, they planed the National Anthem and he was the first person recognized," says Avila.

There were heavy hearts with the most recent tragedy hitting home for some. But with all the proceeds from the race going to first responders and their families, the runners and walkers were hoping the steps they take help people who have already given so much.

For more information or to join the "Run" mailing list, click here.

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