On August 7th, 2021, Richard Jones, EVP, General Tax Counsel & Chief Veteran Officer, ViacomCBS and members of the ViacomCBS Veterans Network attended the 3rd Annual Navy SEAL Swim and Run event organized by GI Go Fund. This effort honored both the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, as well as the 10th anniversary of the greatest loss of Navy SEALs in the history of all Special Operation Forces missions. The downed SEALs are remembered by their call sign “Extortion 17.” The Navy SEAL Hudson River Swim and Run initiative serves to remember our fallen Americans, but also to raise funds for veterans in need.
The event commenced at Liberty State Park, New Jersey and ended at the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan, New York. Many of the swim participants were veterans themselves, and the swim served not only as a tribute to the fallen but an act of solidarity between veteran and civilian participants.
At Liberty State Park, the crowd was entertained with singing. Participants warmed-up with push-ups and a closing motivational prayer nearby the “Empty Sky" 9/11 Memorial. This memorial landmark honors those 749 residents of New Jersey, or those with connections to New Jersey, who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Following the prayer, the ViacomCBS VetNet team walked through Liberty State Park to board a Ferry to follow the participants along on their swim journey. The picturesque landscape of the Hudson River marina served as a strong reminder of what our service members defend.
Aboard the Ferry, the passengers enjoyed views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. An adjacent boat for the Seal Swim allowed participants to do pull-ups and sit-ups, in transit, before jumping back into the water and continuing towards South Cove Marina and Battery Park.
Once all swimmers exited the water, they did a final flag run from the South Cove to the America's Response Monument (adjacent to 9/11 Memorial) for their final push-ups/pull-ups and closing remarks. After remarks, swimmers placed stick flags in names of 9/11 victims at the South Pool in the 9/11 Memorial.
ViacomCBS VetNet was glad to attend. It was a wonderful reminder of the brotherhood and sisterhood of our service members, veterans, and supporting community. ViacomCBS Veterans Network are proud supporters of this initiative and look forward to joining GI Go Fund for future community efforts.