BOULDER, Colo. - Local veterans are being honored during a ceremony at Monday's Bolder Boulder.
Richard "Dick" Jessor says this race is taking on new meaning for him.
Jessor was a freshman at City College in New York in the early 40s when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps instead of waiting to be drafted.
He went on to serve in the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, where he said he was haunted by the image of rows of crosses marking lives lost.
"I happened to turn around and look and I saw the flag and I started screaming, 'I'm sorry.' I get very emotional when I talk about this," said Jessor.
Jessor said that's why he participated in the Memorial Day ceremony at the Bolder Boulder.
"The ceremony here, it's really to pay tribute to them," he said.
Jessor came to Boulder in 1951 to study, but stayed because of his love of the outdoors.
He said he found running to be his sense of community.
"It's a sense of participating in an action that the entire community is doing at the same time. A sense of fellowship and unity and involvement," said Jessor.
He ran his first Bolder Boulder in 1981, and after 21 races the annual event is taking on a new meaning for him. Jessor said it's a place for him to thank those who have served our country.
"Honoring veterans -- those who have not come back. I survived and made a life. Everybody wants that kind of attention, thought and honor," said Jessor.