THE BIRTH OF A MOVEMENT

Memories of Honor founder Amy Cotta began running in combat boots in 2011 after her then 18-year-old son left for Marine Corps boot camp. After competing in endurance events wearing boots, Amy discovered it could be a way to honor our fallen military and show their families they are not alone. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE. 

 

 

OUR MISSION | WHAT WE DO

EVERY DAY IS MEMORIAL DAY™ 

Our mission is to make EVERY DAY Memorial Day. We honor our fallen military and the families they leave behind through athletics, entertainment, and special events to help heal the unseen wounds of war.  We act as a living, breathing memorial so that no American fallen military sacrifice is forgotten.

 

WHO WE ARE

We are a national 501c3 military nonprofit based in Franklin, TN. Our leadership team and advisory board are comprised of military family members, veterans, and Gold Star Family members.

 

 

OUR NAME

Formerly known as Medals of Honor, which was initially named for the symbolic act of sacrificing one’s endurance/sports participation medal in honor & memory of a fallen service member. Memories of Honor fully encompasses our evolving mission to create a living, breathing memorial through sports and special events so that no sacrifice goes forgotten. 

PILLARS OF |  PURPOSE 

  • HONOR the sacrifice made by our fallen military and their families. Preserve the legacy of our fallen service members through living memorials. Be a visual reminder to Gold Star Families that they are not alone, and we will never forget their loved ones.

  • HEAL Provide a healthy and active outlet for depression, grief, PTSD, and survivor's remorse.

  • CONNECT and bring together surviving families, civilians, and veterans, fostering positive relationships built on camaraderie, community, and patriotism.

 

OUR PHILOSOPHY

​We believe all loss of life matters; this is in no way meant to diminish the sacrifice or take away valor from those lost on the battlefield. However, we know that grief doesn’t know titles or time. We aim to bring recognition and honor to all those who lost their lives while wearing our Nation’s cloth and bring comfort to their families.

WE SERVE

  • Surviving family member

  • Active Duty 

  • Military Veterans 


 

WE HONOR

  • All Branches 

  • All Dates of Death

  • All Loss of Life In Service To Our Country 

    • Killed in action

    • Missing in action

    • Training accidents 

    • Self-infliction 

    • Medical issues directly related to service

    • Other loss of life during active duty

WE PARTNER WITH WITH

  • Colleges & Universities 

  • Brands 

  • Sports & Endurance Events

  • Sports Commissions 

  • Cities | Communities  

  • JROTC | ROTC programs 

  • Other Military Nonprofits

  • Companies | Corporations 

  • Event Producers 

  • Country Music Artist & Awards

  • Military Bases & Recreation 

  • Music Video Productions

 

OUR ETHOS

  • MISSION FIRST. Our mission is the guiding principle in everything we do and every decision we make. 

  • DO NO HARM. Empathy is at the heart of what we do. We act with the best and purest of intentions, putting our families’ feelings and needs first. We treat all individuals within and outside of our organization with dignity, respect, and worth. 

  • EVERYONE IS WELCOME. Everyone has a seat at our table. We do not discriminate against anyone regardless of nationality, age, gender, religion, politics, personal views, opinions, or bias. 

  • WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER. Like our military with its five branches, we believe that no one nonprofit organization can meet our community’s many and diverse needs alone. That is why we believe in collaboration, building partnerships, and sharing resources with other military nonprofits and organizations. 

  • ZERO BARRIERS OF ENTRY. We are a no-strings-attached organization. Everyone is welcome to participate in our mission and campaigns without feeling pressured to join our mailing list, donate, fundraise, make purchases, or participate in our fee-based events. 

  • THERE IS NO BOX. We don’t believe in doing things a standardized way just because that’s the way it has always been done. We believe our mission is fluid and ever-evolving; our entrepreneurial spirit thrives within this creative space. We actively ask, “Why not?” and then seek/create ways to accomplish our goal.

 

WHAT WE CAN DO TOGETHER

  • Preserve the legacy of our fallen service members through living memorials. 

  • Be a visual reminder to surviving family members that they are not alone and that no one will ever forget their loved one’s memory. 

  • Provide a healthy outlet for grief, depression, PTSD, and survivor’s remorse. 

  • Create a unifying bond through patriotism and patriotic events.

 

BIRTH OF OUR MISSION

In 2011, our founder, Amy Cotta, signed her then 17-year old son over to the United States Marine Corps. While her son was away at boot camp, she laced up USMC combat boots to feel connected to him and as a way of dealing with her growing anxiety and depression. Without an ounce of training, Amy went from the couch to running a 5K and then a week later a half marathon in her boots. Amy found healing, peace, and comfort in those moments of suffering while running in her boots. For the next couple of years, Amy used her boots to raise money and awareness at various events across the country for other military nonprofits and missions. SGT Anthony Petterson was one of the fallen heroes on her pack. During a conversation, Anthony’s mother told Amy that Anthony had always dreamed of doing an Ironman someday. Unfortunately, he lost his life on August 4, 2011, in Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an insurgent attacked his unit with small arms fire. Anthony was only 24 years old when he gave his life for our country. During that conversation, Amy promised Anthony's mom that she would fulfill his dream and compete at Ironman with him and for him. On Gold Star Mothers Day September 2014, Memories of Honor (formerly Medals of Honor) was born on the racecourse at Ironman Chattanooga. During the 26.2-mile run leg, Amy ran in her now-signature combat boots and a weighted military pack adorned with 21 fallen heroes’ photos. After the event, Amy wrote a letter to accompany the finisher’s medal going to Mrs. Petterson. Amy decided to post on Facebook, asking if anyone would be willing to donate their personal finisher's medal to another fallen hero. To her surprise, within two hours, Amy had enough Ironman medals for all twenty-one heroes on her military pack. And Memories of Honor was born. From September 2014 to September 2015, with word of mouth only, Memories of Honor sent 150 medals (Rememberance Packages) to families of the fallen from endurance racers across the country. And, as they say, 'The rest is history.'

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