The ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, is credited with the oft-uttered saying "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." If this is true, then former New York Giant co-captain George Martin's Journey for 911 must have commenced with three times as many single steps.
And on the way, my mathematical conclusion is that Martin's amazing 3,003-mile trip from the George Washington Bridge in New York City to San Diego consisted of approximately 15,855,840 single steps, none less important than the one before.
For each of Martin's steps, from Sept. 16, 2007 to June 21, 2008, represented his attempt to raise awareness of the plight of the Heroes of Ground Zero and to raise funds to support their ongoing medical needs.
Martin is back in the news today and appeared with his band of walkers on this morning's Sunday version of the Today Show in New York City, as he has turned his Journey for 911 Walk into an annual fundraising event.
It is clear that Martin doesn't want the steps he's taken to be his steps alone and has enlisted the support of all Americans from sea to shining sea as he continues to raise funds and awareness.
Today he and hundreds of volunteer fundraisers will be joined by Hall of Famer Harry Carson, former Giant running back, OJ Anderson, Danny Masterson of That 70s Show, and other sports and entertainment celebrities as they walk from the George Washington Bridge in New York City to Giants Stadium.
Top fundraisers in the event will walk onto the field of Giants Stadium as the New York Football Giants open their final season with the Washington Redskins and participate in an exclusive tailgate party at the new corporate office of the New York Football Giants.
Martin founded the organization in 2007 as his way to serve the health needs and improve the well-being of the Heroes of 911, the thousands of first responders who put others first in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
To manage its day-to-day operations, Journey for 911 named George Martin II its executive director in 2008. He works closely with the board of directors and staff to identify and implement Journey's fund-raising efforts.
Martin's 3,003 mile Journey for 911 began at the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 16, 2007 and brought him through portions of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
For his efforts, Martin raised over $2,000,000.
Along the way, the retired NFL great visited schools, fire houses, police stations, government offices and other places where he raised funds for and awareness about the plight of Ground Zero workers.
He concluded the Journey on June 21, 2008, in San Diego.
Martin has participated in hundreds of media interviews about the medical plight of the 9/11 workers, resulting in thousands of news reports and substantially raising the nation's awareness about this issue.
For his charitable efforts, George has received numerous awards and honors. ABC News named him one of its 2007 "Persons of the Year" and he received the prestigious Heisman Humanitarian Award. Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey bestowed Martin with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his lifelong commitment to community service.
In 2008, Voices of September 11, an advocacy for 911 victims and their families, gave George its "Building Bridges" award for his efforts on behalf of first responders.
Martin encourages the support of all Americans by asking you to visit his site at www.ajourneyfor911.info or by phoning in a donation to 1-877-WALK-911 (877-925-5911).
A special thanks to both George Martin and his associate John Mooney who made Martin available to me to interview. I was unable to hear the thoughts of this Giant of a man however and hope to do a personal interview with him in the future. I encourage your support of this worthwhile endeavor-Todd Civin