Lance Robinson, a Marine veteran from Pennsylvania, took his cause to salute firefighters and first responders who lost their lives on 9-11 to the Ardmore streets Thursday afternoon.
Robinson is hiking 343 miles and placing a flag at each mile to honor the firefighters who perished during the terrorist attack. On each flag is the name of a firefighter who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Robinson began his Oklahoma phase of the Hike of Honor in Tulsa, and will conclude it in Dallas. The Ardmore portion began on 12th Street at Walgreen's, and concluded at the Ardmore Veterans Center.
Attired in firefighting bunker gear, Robinson pulled a cart with flags, accompanied by Ardmore firefighters Gabe Parker and Brandon Spencer.
"I am going to walk two miles today," Robinson said. "I walk a day on and a day off. It's day to day. It's pretty hard to walk 20 miles a day. Tomorrow, I am going to walk to Marietta, take a day off, and start again in Gainesville."
Robinson said he will not jog between Marietta and Gainesville because of road construction. There are also traffic and safety factors to be considered, which is why he said he avoids Interstate highways.
His Oklahoma journey began Sept. 11 in Tulsa, and throughout his time in Oklahoma, as well as other states he has visited, Robinson said crowds have been supportive. He is also walking to promote a Brother to Brother Day, which is Sept. 10 to recognize veterans and those who currently serve.
"Overall, there has been enthusiasm and embracement," he said. "There is applause when they see the firefighter uniform."
Robinson said he also has received a lot of public interest because of the present political situation. People have seen what he has done and looked to him as inspiration. In turn, Robinson said he received his inspiration through the Lord to begin his quest, which he continues at the age of 56.
As he walked through town, he received a firefighter escort, which has become customary, as first responders have joined him. An Ardmore fire truck trailed him as he made his jaunt.
"The firefighters have been very supportive," Robinson said. "Sometimes it can be very overwhelming. Without their support, it would be a very daunting task."
Parker said he volunteered when asked as a way to support not only Robinson, but also those who perished on 9-11.
"Anybody that comes through here wanting to remember the firefighters and police we lost on 9-11, I totally support," Parker said.