In a time when we continue to honor frontline workers for all their courage and service to society, it brings to mind one of our own heroes and the ultimate sacrifice he made.
It’s been nearly nine years since Brad Fox, a Warminster native who served in both the military and police, was killed in the line of duty.
As many runners and friends of the Fox family know, a 5K was created in his honor and to date, more than $300,000 has been raised to help the family as well as affiliated non-profit causes.
Last year’s event had to be postponed because of the pandemic and this year’s edition, which had been tentatively scheduled for a March-April window, will be put on hold temporarily until the national health picture becomes a bit clearer.
The important thing is this: No matter how long it takes to return to normal and get events such as the Officer Brad Fox 5K completely back to original form, this brave man’s legacy must never be forgotten.
“We’re absolutely going to do something (this year),’’ race director Darren Meehan said during a telephone conversation. “We’re just figuring out what makes the most sense.
“We don’t have something planned for the spring but we’re absolutely going to do something in 2021.’’
Races from as big as the Boston Marathon all the way to local races are looking at the possibility of moving spring races back to fall dates with hope that the U.S. vaccination program is far enough along to hold safe events with less worry.
“We’re going to try to make it as personal and as inclusive as possible,’’ Meehan said. “We’re going to try to avoid a virtual 5K but if that’s the option that we have, then we’re going to make the best of that.
“I’m optimistic that the vaccination plan is going to get enough people vaccinated that we can get to the summer and start to have (downsized) crowds again. The fact that our event is outdoors I think helps us as well.’’
In recent years, the Officer Brad Fox 5K has been held on the grounds of Archbishop Wood High School and nearby York Road. A couple years ago, the race was really growing and, if things had been different, it might be approaching as many as 1,000 runners by now.
Meehan sounds optimistic.
“Even if we have to institute a mask policy, it’s still outdoors, it’s fresh air. That works in our favor. We’re not confined anywhere.’’
It’s important to keep the tradition going.
“That was one of the goals that we had from the start, to never forget the sacrifice that Brad made,’’ Meehan said in an interview last year. “And also not to forget the sacrifice that countless others made in service to both our country and our community.’’
Fox, a former member of the Plymouth Township police department, was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 13, 2012 (one day short of his 35th birthday), leaving behind his pregnant wife, Lynsay, who gave birth to Brad Jr. on March 25, 2013.
The decorated officer also served as a U.S. Marine for two tours of duty in Iraq, so he truly is an American hero.
Brad Jr. will be celebrating his eighth birthday on the aforementioned March 25. His sister, Kadence, is a year older.
The Brad Fox Scholarship Fund each year donates to:
>One William Tennent High School senior studying law enforcement or exploring a career in the military.
>An incoming Archbishop Wood High School freshman who demonstrates selfless services within their community.
In addition, the project benefits the Warminster Township and Warrington Townships K-9 Units and Alpha Bravo Canine.
Also, money is being donated to:
> The Superhero Project
> Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home
> Bucks County Admirals
> Horsham Little League Challengers
> Brad Fox Children’s Fund.
> Families of Fallen Police/First Responders
> Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.
> Montgomery County Special Olympics.
> Bucks County Down Syndrome Interest Group.
> Duskin & Stephens Foundation —Area Police Department K-9 Units.
“We want to continue to tell Brad’s story,’’ Meehan said in an interview a while back. “Brad literally did everything he could for his country and then for his community.
“Since his kids wouldn’t have a chance to know their father personally, part of what we do is to continue to tell Brad’s story and build upon that for them.
“Also to communicate to Brad’s entire family, not just his widow and his kids, but his parents, grandparents, brother. . .just to communicate to them that Brad’s sacrifice isn’t forgotten.’’
At a time like this, it’s almost as if this sort of recognition should be shared by the frontline workers’ community.
“The reality is we still have countless men and women who are putting their lives on the line,’’ Meehan said. “Both in our neighborhoods and scross the globe.
“Our commitment has always been to honor Brad and folks like Brad who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and community. Our mission of honoring people like that, it doesn’t stop.’’
Bucks County Roadrunners Club Winter Series Honest Abe 4.6-Miler, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact www.bcrrclub.com