An event honoring fallen military personnel and first responders passed through the Central Coast on Monday.
‘Carry The Load’ was in Orcutt as participants looked to complete their leg of what will be a month-long 20,000-mile national relay.
It’s one of five relay routes that will converge in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Memorial March on Memorial Day weekend. The West Coast Route runs south from Washington state, through Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico before ending in Dallas.
“There’s an old saying out there: When people die this way, they die twice. The first time is whenever they actually die. And the second time is whenever we stop speaking their names,” David Lindsey said, who is the West Coast relay manager for Carry The Load. “And that’s what part of our goal is, to make sure that those names are never forgotten, that they’re always spoken and that we remember those families. Not only did those heroes give that sacrifice, but also those families did, too.”
Carry The Load nonprofit organization started the event in 2011 and looks to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day.
"We have seen firsthand the powerful impact Carry The Load has had on service members and families of those who have lost loved ones,” Stephen Holley, co-founder, president and CEO of Carry The Load and Veteran U.S. Navy SEAL said in an organization press release. “Our volunteers tell us that participating in Carry The Load has given them a deeper connection to those who serve and a greater appreciation for the sacrifices made for our freedom."
People of all ages can walk with the national relay team or attend a rally at a location near them. Complementary registration can be found on the organization’s website.