‘Carry the Load’ Restores True Meaning of Memorial Day

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DALLAS -- Memorial Day is supposed to be a day to reflect on the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This year, nearly 15,000 folks in the DFW area decided to skip the backyard BBQ and march as long as they can with a heavy backpack. It's a symbolic way to "carry the load" in the name of a fallen soldier.

Carry the Load is a non-profit organization created to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day.

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"Carry the Load" volunteer

"Our first year, we had about 500 people do it," said co-founder Clint Bruce. "And the best we know, we think we're over 15,000 for this one, and you look at the other relays, we may be into 50 thousands."

NewsFix caught up with Jesse Manning on Katy Trail who spent the night walking 20 miles in the pouring rain.

"It's nice to get with family and friends and to celebrate, but it's also good to remember what Memorial Day is all about," Manning said.

Jane Case is walking for a soldier she never met. She sat next to his dad on a plane and decided to dedicate her walk to his son.

"It's just amazing to be able to see that they're not forgotten," Case told NewsFix. "People that give their life to protect this country should always be remembered."

Veteran Glen Dare was recognized at the closing ceremony for walking the farthest and carrying the heaviest load.

"This year I walked 42 miles, carrying 85 pounds," Dare said.  "I wanted to be a visual representation of when people look at me they'd be reminded that the folks on some of these placards out here died in this uniform."

The faces of the fallen soldiers will never fade... as long as others continue to march in their name.

Carry the Load raised more than a million dollars this year and will be distributed to 17 charities. Now, that's a powerful way to say "Thanks for your service!"