Mike and Peg Herbstritt will not say it, but they embody perseverance, especially today.
“See for me, I dread 4/16. I just dread this day, because it was a horrible day for us,” Mike Herbstritt said.
Their son, Jeremy, a Bellefonte High and Penn State Alum, was getting his graduate degree at Virginia Tech when a man opened fire, killing 31 people and their son.
“He wanted to find a future. He wanted to find himself, and I think he did and he was working toward that but his life was cut short,” Jeremy’s Dad said.
Jeremy graduated from PSU with a degree in Civil Engineering, and that department, for the third year in a row is sponsoring the run and walk in his memory.
“People think about the way Jeremy wanted to live his life, and to me that means a lot. That's why they're coming to race because they want to say Jeremy lived his life to the fullest he could live it.”
Close to 400 people will run or walk with Jeremy’s life on their minds. Jeremy's mom told WTAJ, this race will be different than the two that preceded it.
“This year, for whatever reason, I'm really like paying attention able to understand. And I, I walk down the street and I see people with Virginia Tech shirts on, I see people with shirts with my sons picture on the back.”
This weekend, the family will plant apple trees in an orchard Jeremy started years ago. But first Friday night, they will feel the support of a university their son loved so much.
“Jeremy had a big hand, you know, he was taller than me. He'd always reach out and one of the things we'd do, you know that slogan we are Penn State? We'll Jeremy'd always go, ‘We are . . .,’ and I'd grab his hand and say ‘Penn State,’” Mike Herbstritt said.
Registration for the Run and Walk ends at 6:00 on the East Lawn of Penn State’s Intramural Building. A candlelight vigil marks the close of the race, which should happen around 7:45 Friday.