GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Sunday marks 21 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The decades since have rung with remembrance, often recontextualized by the goings-on of the present. No matter what changes, the memory of the day still endures – and the loss of life that day is remembered.
This Sunday, Sept. 11, Jacque Ecuyer will take to the roads, walking 22 miles to raise awareness of veteran suicide rates. The 22-mile stretch was chosen in reference to the 22 veterans who pass away daily from suicide, according to statistics. From his starting point at the Saratoga VFW to the end at Crandall Park in Glens Falls, Ecuyer wants those lives remembered.
My family is all military, and my wife’s is,” said Ecuyer, founder of nonprofit 4s4life, on Wednesday. “I could never serve, and so this is my way of giving back.”
Ecuyer will start early, leaving the VFW in Saratoga around 6 a.m. From there, it’ll be a long walk up Route 9, through Wilton, Gansevoort, Moreau and South Glens Falls, before finally crossing the bridge over the Hudson River and passing through Glens Falls. He’s done the walk once before – in 2019, it took him around six hours.
So far, Ecuyer has received some requests to join in, including a couple of retired military service members. He’s told them to come along for as long as they can, even if it’s just for half a mile. Anyone passing by the long walk north is encouraged to honk their horns. Upon arrival at Crandall Park around 12:30 p.m., the hope is to gather community members for a moment of silence in memory of those lost to suicide.
Although he’s doing it for awareness, Ecuyer is encouraging charitable donations to three different organizations devoted to reducing suicide rates among veterans of warfare. One is Hicks Strong, a local group run by a family with a member who died to suicide. Other recipients encouraged include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Veteran Business Network chapter of the Adirondack Chamber of Commerce.
In 2019, Ecuyer took the path the other way, starting in Glens Falls and ending up in Saratoga. Turning around has its advantages.
“This year I’m ending closer to home, which is good because my legs get pretty sore after 22 miles.”
The Sept. 11 walk isn’t the only veterans’ walk going on in the next week. Next Wednesday, Sept. 14, Ecuyer and others will be gathered for a 22-minute walk in cooperation with the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce. Walkers can meet at 4 p.m. at the City Park Gazebo.