5K run to honor victims of 9/11

Image 1 of 19

A traditional Atlanta run took on special meaning Wednesday night.

The Kaiser Permanente Corporate Challenge 5K honored the brave first responders who lost their lives on 9/11.

It also recognized area police and firefighters who have been injured in the line of duty.

Among the 10,000 runners and walkers, more than 400 first responders and active and retired military.

Covington Police Officer Matt Cooper was the Grand Marshall of the event.

One year ago, Officer Cooper was shot in the head while responding to a shoplifting call.

"I'm in a much better place than I was last year, I was in the hospital for 107 days," said Officer Cooper.

Cooper is also a military veteran. He enlisted after 9/11.

"If you joined up or did service after 9/11 you did it for a reason, you knew what you were getting into," said Officer Cooper.

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields clearly remembers September 11, 2001. She was working that day.

"You needed to be preparing but you didn't know where it was coming from so you felt helpless watching like the rest of the world," said Chief Shields.

In all, 343 firefighters lost their lives on 9/11. That's what Atlanta Fire Chief Randall Slaughter will always think about on this day and every day.

"I was tremendously sad and angry because we just lost 343 firefighters in an instant. On the other hand, I felt tremendously proud because as Americans we galvanized," said Chief Slaughter.

Chief Slaughter said he's seeing a whole set of recruits who weren't even born September 11, 2001. He said it's up to all of us to teach that generation what it means to never forget.