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Annual Carry the Load relay kicks off in Seattle

Carry the Load started as a mission to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day.

SEATTLE — Carry the Load is a symbolic campaign that encourages volunteers to “carry the load” for an American hero in an awareness relay across the country. 

The 20,000-mile relay features five routes and covers 48 states.

Founded by veteran U.S. Navy SEALs Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley, Carry the Load started as a mission to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day. 

After more than a decade the campaign has grown to bring all Americans together to participate in honoring our nation’s heroes every day. The event kicked off Thursday in Seattle. 

This year’s relay started in Seattle’s Victor Steinbrueck Park and passed through downtown on the way to Tahoma National Cemetery before stopping in Covington. There’s little rest for the wary as the official route stretches more than 4,400 miles and is scheduled to conclude in Dallas, Texas on Memorial Day.

“Throughout this 32-day Memorial May campaign, marchers frequently carry signs, banners, and flags honoring a fallen service member, veteran, or first responder,” said VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Matt Quinn.

Carry The Load National Relay Director Matt Fryman said they work with the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration to visit 50 national cemeteries across the country.

“Carry The Load is an important annual campaign and is ultimately a way to connect Americans to the sacrifices of our nation’s military, veterans, first responders, and the countless families affected,” Fryman said. 

You can support the relay and follow progress at www.carrytheload.org.

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