In 1982, Louis Michael Figueroa, aged 16, ran from New Jersey to San Francisco for the American Cancer Society, unknowingly inspiring a line for Forrest Gump's famous run on the silver screen. "I just put one foot in front of the other," it goes. "When I get tired I sleep. When I get hungry I eat. When I have to go to the bathroom, I go."
Danny Garcia, Mohamed Taleb, Khalid Jebbar
On Tuesday, Danny Garcia and Khalid Jebbar departed from the Legation on their epic Walk Morocco hike, destination Dakhla in the extreme south. They should be getting to Oujda tonight, all the way over on the Algerian border. Even though Danny told me they plan on trekking some 50 miles per day, I still am a bit fuzzy how they can do this in three days, given the distance.
But that's not the point. I'm just glad that I randomly returned from errands in town in time to meet them as they left the Legation, down the American Steps, where a friendly plainclothes policeman accompanying Danny and Khalid stopped to introduce us. Otherwise I might have missed this unique event.
Danny – a former US Marine – was overjoyed at seeing our exhibit on the first Marine Security Guards, and we were thrilled that he and Khalid (head of MAYD, Moroccan American Youth for Democracy) had chosen the Legation as their point of departure. They know a thing or two about symbolism.
Speaking of symbolism – and maybe metabolism – Danny Garcia, "the Walking Man," also celebrated his 69th birthday on March 18, starting on this trek for "faith, children, and world peace." Happy birthday, Danny, and you and Khalid keep on walkin' to Dakhla.