10th annual Carry the Load relay makes its way through the ArkLaTex
TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - Carry the Load walked through Texarkana on Thursday, May 27 as a part of its 15,500-mile national relay to honor and remember fallen military and first responders.
The East Coast Relay started May 3 in West Point, New York and will finish May 30 in Dallas, Texas. The relay made stops in Hope, Ark., both sides of Texarkana, and Redwater, Texas on Thursday.
Brian Smith of Texarkana joined up with the organization as the group made a trek across Miller and Bowie counties.
“Memorial Day is an important process and that’s what this leads up to is Memorial Day,” Smith said.
This is the 10th annual Carry the Load Relay after it was held virtually in 2020 due to COVID-19. The group looks to cover all 50 states with its East Coast and West Coast relays.
“We just want people to know that it is not just a day for a cookout or a lake day, it’s a time to honor all of those who have fallen during their service and all the lives they have impacted,” said Emmalee Green with Carry the Load.
The event is part of the non-profit organization’s overall mission to carry on the memory of fallen veterans and first responders.
“It’s to try and restore the meaning of Memorial Day,” said media coordinator, Heyli Lopez. “The event is for honoring the sacrifices our veterans and first responders have made by carrying on the memory of the fallen.”
Lopez says many carry flags or other tokens of respect to honor those who have made sacrifices to the United States.
As the group makes its journey, the public is invited to join along the route. That’s what Smith, who is a military veteran, did.
“I’ve actually been to Iraq and Afghanistan and while I was in Afghanistan in ’13, we lost a guy. This is something we try to remember,” he said.
Jeremiah Guinn is with AT&T Veterans. He and his family joined the walk in West Memphis, Arkansas.
“At AT&T, we got about 800 veteran employees in the State of Arkansas and almost all of us have lost somebody because of combat-related or suicide-related incidents,” Guinn said.
The group made stops at Hope Fire Department, U.S. Highway 67 and State Highway 108, Texarkana Human Resources Department, Southwest Center City and Ot’s Landing. The group is expected to arrive in Redwater, Texas sometime Thursday evening and continue its journey to Dallas along Highway 67.
Anyone who would like to join Carry the Load can register online, or simply show up along the route. The group hopes to make it to Mt. Vernon Friday evening.
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