, Derry, New Hampshire

August 8, 2013

Editorial: Hats off to heroes

Derry News

---- — Derry resident Bill Manning, 70, did an amazing thing this summer.

He biked more than 3,000 miles from shore to shore across the country in 50 days. Yes, he biked.

The U.S. Marine Corps veteran set off from the coast of Oregon in June and pedaled his way to Rye, where he lifted his bicycle high above his head Monday to celebrate the end of his amazing journey.

He pedaled for those who can’t.

Manning rode to spread awareness and raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports veterans injured, physically and mentally, in service to their country. To date, Manning has raised more than $30,000.

That’s impressive, even more so given Manning’s age.

“I’ve got my full body and many of them don’t,” Manning said at the end of his ride.

He has much more. Derry should be very proud.

Some other local athletes deserve high praise, too, not so much for their athletic prowess, but for sharing their love of running.

The Greater Derry Track Club just concluded the 38th Kids Summer Fun Run series.

The club showed hundreds of local children that exercise can be fun. Undoubtedly, many of those youngsters will join next year’s six-week series and show up on the rosters of local cross-country teams in the years to come.

By sharing their love of the sport and encouraging youngsters to get out and stretch their muscles, the club has provided invaluable lessons and inspiration for a more fit future generation.

They also encouraged participants to bring a nonperishable food donation with them each week and contributed a whopping total of 1,272 pounds of food to the St. Thomas Food Bank in Derry.

That’s impressive.