Higher Ground Sun Valley and Ketchum hosts Memorial Day remembrance events

Posted on Donna Kee

KETCHUM, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Higher Ground of Sun Valley and the city of Ketchum coordinated together to host several Memorial Day events on Monday.

The remembrance started with an early Murphy Challenge, a physical workout consisting of running, push-ups and pull-ups that benefits the Navy Lt. Michael Murphy Scholarship Foundation. Murphy died in Afghanistan in 2015.

It was followed by a ceremony in Ketchum Cemetery, with an honor march, live music and activities at the city’s town square.

Higher Ground military programs director Rich Cardillo said others participated in the “Carry the Load Sun Valley Rally.” Participants would walk for about two miles and remember those that sacrificed their lives for the country.

An honor wall was displayed for the community to hang dog tags and write the name of the service men and women they would like to recognize.

“We’re hoping that they are remembering them as they walk,” Cardillo said.


WHO ARE YOU CARRYING? Riders, walkers remember fallen

Posted on Donna Kee

By Brandy Cruz Sentinel News Editor

“It seems like all I’ve done is ride mountains,” Tom Wendling said. “And the people I carry on my back have allowed me to get to the top of these mountains.”

Carry the Load, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring Memorial Day by carrying the load and remembering the fallen, made a stop at the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment stables May 23, marking the organization’s third time at the Great Place.

Wendling, a retired firefighter from Dallas, is one of hundreds of people who took time this May to “carry the load” in honor of the sacrifices made by military, veterans, first responders and their Families. Walking or biking, the participants had a name pinned to their backs, the name of a fallen warrior that will never be forgotten.

“We die two deaths – the first is when the breath leaves our body, the second is when our memory leaves someone else’s heart,” Smitty Searles, a Carry the Load participant, said. “We’re here to make sure that memory is never lost.”

The annual event began in Dallas on Memorial Day 2011, when two veteran Navy Seals, Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley, strapped on their old rucksacks and began walking around Whiterock Lake for 20 hours, 11 minutes.

“There was an elderly veteran that asked them, ‘What are you doing?’ They said, ‘I’m carrying the load for my buddies.’ And that’s how the name got started,” Wendling explained.

The following year, the walk began in West Point, New York, and since then, two additional routes were added. The West Coast route begins in Seattle and the Midwest route begins in Minneapolis. All the routes ended their combined 11,500-mile journey on May 26, with a two-day walk around Katy Park in Dallas.

Wendling, who began his journey in Seattle, said on each segment of their 32-day trek, people always joined them, culminating in hundreds of participants. He said they share stories of those they carry on their back, so that they will never be forgotten. He shared that when he puts a name on his back, he makes contact with the surviving Family members.

“Let them know this is not just lip service, this is so important that they know we care,” he said.

People across the greater-Fort Hood area came out to greet the West Coast walkers and riders. They were greeted to a demonstration by the 1st Cav. Div. Horse Det., before the walkers and riders continued their trek to Dallas.

In his remarks, Col. Hank Perry, III Corps chief of staff, stressed the importance of Memorial Day and Carry the Load. He let the participants know how important what they were doing was for the people living and working on Fort Hood.

“It’s very important to all of us that we all remember, that we call take time to reflect on the sacrifice,” Perry said. “That’s what Carry the Load is all about.”

Searles said the event serves as a reminder to everyone about the true meaning of Memorial Day. It also serves as a reminder for the Families to know their fallen heroes are not forgotten.

“America remembers,” Searles said. “I want them (Families) to know that their memories, the memories of their loved ones will absolutely live on. They’ll live on through us … they’ll live on through the stories we share.”

For more information about the Carry the Load organization or to sign up for future relays or other events, visit www.carrytheload.org.

Honoring The Fallen: Carry the Load

Posted on Donna Kee

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – Three Buckhorn High School students are showing what they’re made of. All three participated in the “Carry The Load” event in Dallas Texas over Memorial Day weekend.

The event is dedicated to honoring the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes. Olivia Rushbrook completed 30 miles walking in memory of her father, Huntsville Police Officer James Rushbrook.

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Carry the Load Memorial Day march makes stop in East Texas

Posted on Donna Kee

Group’s mission is to restore true meaning of Memorial Day

MT. PLEASANT, Texas (KLTV) – It began in Dallas in 2011 as a march to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Now, Carry The Load’s Memorial Day march is a 32-day awareness campaign covering 40 states. The relay team was in East Texas on Friday as part of their 11,500-mile trek to honor the sacrifices of our nation’s military, veterans and first responders.

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In its ninth year, Carry the Load event raises money for veteran assistance programs, honors the fallen

Posted on Donna Kee

When you’ve lost a loved one in the military, every day is Memorial Day. Carry the Load continues to ask the rest of us to remember at least this one day each year.

DALLAS — When you’ve lost a loved one in the military, every day is Memorial Day.

The Carry the Load organization, now in its ninth year, continues to be the biggest event in North Texas. It asks all of us to be reverent on at least this one day of the year.

As is the custom at the Carry the Load event, held each Memorial Day weekend in Reverchon Park, a field of American flags lined the grass near the west end of the park.

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Annual ‘Carry The Load’ Event Honors Meaning of Memorial Day

Posted on Donna Kee

Over 30,000 Carry the Load volunteers walked day and night over Memorial Day weekend in honor of our nation’s heroes.

“It’s just amazing how everyone comes together to honor our fallen, one celebration, it’s not about barbecues, it’s about remembering who gave their lives for us,” said Tammie Valeski with Patriot PAWS.

Men, women and children carried posters with the names of the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“You can feel the spirit, there is a spirit here that’s driving this and that makes it so special,” said Hershel “Woody” Williams, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient.

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