Memorial Day – Help Carry the Load

An American flag flaps in the wind.

I was watching the news with my mom last night and they had an interesting story on Memorial Day. Last year, I blogged about Memorial Day and talked about the history of the holiday and why it was created. I also talked about what it has become and how people celebrate it today. Originally created to honor veterans of the Armed Services who had died, Memorial Day has sort of become a holiday to honor any loved ones who have died. In our family, it is a tradition to visit the cemetery on Memorial Day and to put flowers on the graves of relatives we’ve lost.

There was an NBC news story about a veteran named Clint Bruce. He is a former Navy SEAL who has completed a ton of dangerous missions while he was in the military. He has also lost a large number of friends and fellow soldiers while in battle. Mr. Bruce believes that it is his duty to remind Americans of the real intention and meaning of Memorial Day, so he founded an organization called Carry the Load.

Carry the Load collects contributions that are distributed to the needy families of troops and first responders who have died in the line of duty.  Carry the Load also organized a charity event that I think is a pretty cool idea – a walk from West Point, NY (home of the United States Military Academy) all the way to Dallas, TX!  This year’s walk began on April 28th at the cemetery at West Point and ended May 24th (yesterday), the day before Memorial Day, in Dallas.  The total distance of the walk was 2,000 miles.  The walk is actually a relay, and works just like the march of the Olympic Torch every four years.  Most people walk just part of the long distance before passing the American flag off to another person who continues the relay.  The walk passes through several cities and towns between West Point and Dallas and serves as a reminder to people what the real meaning of Memorial Day is.

Today, my dad smoked pork spare ribs and country style ribs.  My mom made warm potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, and corn bread; and my dad said grace for our food before we ate.  And before we prayed, I reminded my dad to pray for the soldiers and their families who had died in service to our country.  It’s the very least we could do.

Happy Memorial Day!