May 17 2021
Gregg Parker | The Madison Record
HUNTSVILLE – The Carry the Load initiative will visit several sites in Huntsville on May 22.
The nationwide tour’s stop in Huntsville will honor the nation’s heroes and making Memorial Day matter again.
A non-profit organization, Carry The Load provides an active way for Americans to connect with the sacrifices made daily by military members, veterans, first responders and their families. The organization started in 2011 as a mission to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day, but the focus has grown now to honor the nation’s heroes, 365 days a year. (carrytheload.org)
Two U.S. Navy SEALs or Navy Sea, Air, and Land veterans organized Carry the Load. The organization’s visit in Huntsville is part of its “Memorial May” itinerary.
Fifty states and 29 countries will host the tour, which culminates in Dallas, Texas on Memorial Day Weekend. Funds raised will support Carry The Load’s Awareness, Continuum of Care, and Education Programs that assist with the many challenges facing today’s military.
In Huntsville on May 22, a welcome ceremony will cheer on participants from 4:30 to 5 p.m. at the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial. The public is welcome to attend, according to Julie Kink with the Memorial Monument Committee with Alabama Gold Star Families.
Huntsville relay stops include College Plaza Shopping Center, 4701 Meridian St. N from 2:30 to 3 p.m.; Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial, 200 Monroe St. NW from 4:30 to 5 p.m.; Dick’s Sporting Goods, 2718 Carl T. Jones Drive SE, 6:30 to 7 p.m.; and Publix Supermarket, 12796 Bailey Cove Road SE, 9:30 to 10 p.m.
“Members of the public who would like to join the walkers for any leg of the route are asked to register on the website, carrytheload.org. (Participants) are encouraged to carry a picture of someone for whom they are ‘Carrying the Load,” Kink said.
Huntsville is just one stop on the organization’s 32-day, 15,500-mile relay across America. Carry The Load is partnering with the Woody Williams Foundation to include as many Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments as possible. Alabama’s first Gold Star Families Memorial Monument was dedicated at the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial in 2020.
Navy SEALs Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley founded Carry The Load to provide an active way to honor and remember our nation’s heroes. Audio and video PSAs, messages, fact sheets and background facts are available at news.carrytheload.org.