Fallen University Alumnus 1

Run Honored Fallen University Alumnus

Over two dozen members of the University community along with family and friends of fallen military soldier and University alumnus, Lance Corporal Christopher B. Cosgrove III, participated in the New Jersey (NJ) Run For the Fallen on Sunday, Sept. 25.

NJ Run for the Fallen is an organization whose mission is to run a mile for every NJ service member killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom New Dawn, and any other conflicts. According to the official website, the first run was held in 2009.

According to his mother, Charlene Cosgrove-Bowie, Cosgrove was a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps from Cedar Knolls, NJ. He died while serving in Iraq on Oct. 1, 2006. “Chris wanted to join the Marines when he graduated high school, but I begged him to go to college first. So he went to Monmouth University, and majored in history and double minored in anthropology and archaeology,” she said.

Cosgrove joined the military at the conclusion of his junior year, but finished his schooling at the University. After graduating with his Bachelors, he attended infantry training at Camp Geiger in North Carolina, his mother said.

“A request came in for 40 Marines to join Charlie Company from Connecticut to deploy to Iraq. Chris and 39 others volunteered to go. He left in January of 2006 for 29 Palms in California.  March of 2006 they went to Iraq. He was days away from leaving Iraq that Oct. 1st of 2006 to come home to his family and his fiancé,” added Cosgroves mother.

Fallen University Alumnus 2This year’s run took place from Sept. 20 to Sept. 24. Participants embarked on a 190-mile journey that began in Cape May Point and ended in Holmdel, NJ. A distinctive “Hero Marker” signified the end to each mile. At the “Hero Markers,” the biography of a deceased service man or woman was read aloud, and flags were raised in their honor. Runners also saluted and greeted the awaiting family members at each marker.

The run for Cosgrove was held on Sunday Sept. 25. Runners ran to a Marker honoring Cosgrove’s legacy on the University campus. In early June, Dorothy M. Cleary, Director of Tutoring Services, Chief of Police McElrath, and NJ Run For the Fallen Director, Mike Simpson, discussed bringing the route onto campus.

Cleary said, “The run itself has been established since 2009, and has been running past campus on Norwood Avenue every year. This is the first time it has happened through campus, for which the family was extremely grateful and happy. Cosgrove’s family and friends were in attendance at the marker this day and were incredibly appreciative that their son was being honored on the campus where he spent four wonderful years and look forward to the event next year.”

Fallen University Alumnus 3Cosgrove’s mother recalled the experience and said, “I was there with my family to greet the runners at Chris’ marker at Monmouth. We have attended the NJ Run For the Fallen almost every year since it was started.  It is an amazing event that honors each and every fallen hero from NJ.”

According to Cleary, Cosgrove’s Hero Marker was held outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC) in front of the 9/11 Memorial. Cleary, Michael Callahan, Coordinator of Veteran Services, and 2014 Monmouth Alumnus and former student veteran, William Delao, joined the runners in the one-mile run prior to this marker.

Several Monmouth students attended the run including Emily-Rose Touw, a senior health studies student. She said, “It was an honor to meet the family of fallen Lance Corporal Christopher Cosgrove III at the NJ Run for the Fallen. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to show my support in honoring a Monmouth alumnus who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.”

Touw added, “Everyone was excitedly awaiting the arrival of the runners at his “Hero Marker” at Monmouth and we all cheered as they arrived. One of the runners presented Christopher’s parents with a rose and words of support followed by a brief ceremony before the runners went off to their next Hero Marker. It was a really nice event to attend and I hope the family felt the support of all who were there.”

IMAGE COURTESY of Dorothy Cleary