BURNET, Texas (KXAN) — Hundreds gathered near Burnet Sunday with a vision to highlight the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Carry The Load featured the Austin Memorial March, which spanned 20.14 miles at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet.
“It’s called Carry the Load because we’re carrying the load for men and women who can no longer carry it for us,” event organizer Ashley Kamrath said. “They carried it for us through their service, and unfortunately they had to cash that check… they wrote that blank check to our nation and said ‘hey, I’m willing to go serve this country up to the cost of my life.’”
The nationwide event, which was founded in 2010 by a former Navy SEAL, brings people together to honor service members, law enforcement officers and firefighters who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“We’ve lost several friends and family members that have served who are no longer with us,” Army veteran Donna Niklas said. “I was in the United States Army for 13 years. Losing someone in the military… it’s tradition, honor, respect, duty… loyalty.”
Active duty military took part as well.
“Me and a few of my buddies from my unit to just take some time, do 20-miles, and think about all our brothers that we left behind and make sure they’re never forgotten and they’ll always be with us,” participant Ryan Mills said.
“Everybody is in and it’s just a great day to celebrate the true meaning of Memorial Day,” Mills said
In 2013, more than 1500 people participated in the event.