Origins of the Boot Display
In 2012, Theresa Johnson, a military spouse previously stationed at Fort Campbell, created the idea for the boot display in Hawaii to promote the Fisher House and to honor and remember Fallen Service Members.
The inaugural event took place just three weeks before September 11, 2012, on Pearl Harbor’s historic Ford Island. It began with an opening ceremony, a 21-gun salute and a bugler playing Taps prior to a run and walk. Some 6,400 boots, adorned with the names and photos of Fallen Service Members who were lost since 9/11, lined the run route. After runners passed by, the boots were moved to a field and were on display for the weekend.
While the Fisher House Run, Walk and Roll event continues in Hawaii, the original idea has expanded into events at three other military installations – Fort Bragg, NC; Foot Hood, TX; and Fort Campbell, KY, which has incorporated a boot display into its Military Survivor Appreciation Week.
This original display was created to raise awareness on behalf of the Fisher House when the event founder was personally touched by her experience with the Fort Campbell Fisher House. This event was dedicated in memory of a family friend from Fort Campbell, PFC Timothy Vimoto, who was KIA on 5 June, 2007.