FORT WALTON BEACH — The Old Glory Relay Race's U.S. flag traveled through Fort Walton Beach Thursday on its 4,600 miles cross-country trek from Seattle to Tampa.
The Fort Walton Beach Old Glory Relay Race Captain Gloria Bermudez-Bly was handed the flag at Uptown Station in Fort Walton Beach Thursday morning. From there, Bermudez-Bly and her team carried the flag 52 miles to the next drop-off point in Panama City.
"It was very emotional," said Co-Captain Jamie Moncure after running her leg of the race. "People driving by would say 'U.S.A' and when we passed businesses people would cheer. One guy stood at attention as we passed. You're very proud to be carrying the flag."
The Old Glory Relay Race, which was started in 2014, begins each day with the first runner unfurling the flag and passing it on throughout the day to other runners or bikers until it reaches the next checkpoint. Each night, the last runner folds the flag for safekeeping until morning.
Moncure said the team was greeted Thursday night with a boiled shrimp dinner after passing the flag on to the Panama City team. The flag will reach its final destination in Tampa on Veterans Day.
"This event brings awareness and recognition to Americans and the flag," Moncure said. "It's a really cool event."
Individuals can follow the Old Glory Relay Race at www.oldgloryrelay.org.