VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering again with the nonprofit Carry The Load for a Memorial May campaign.
Carry the Load provides active ways for Americans to honor and remember the sacrifices made by our nation’s fallen heroes. This year marks the ninth annual Memorial May campaign. It is the second year for VA cemeteries joining to help promote Carry The Load’s signature event. The National Relay is a 15,000-mile trek across the country culminating with a Memorial Day ceremony in Dallas, Texas.
First Virtual National Relay
This year, the National Relay, with 30 stops in national cemeteries, is a virtual relay. Participants can register for the virtual relay at carrytheload.org/register. By registering, participants can form virtual teams and build community partnerships. National cemeteries and Carry The Load will recognize fallen Veterans by featuring a “Veteran of the Day” on social media.
Memorial Drive, Facebook Live and National Moment of Remembrance
Memorial Day typically has a traditional ceremony. This year, Carry The Load will host the 2020 Dallas Memorial Drive from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Central Time May 25. Participants must register their vehicles in advance to join the honor drive near Reverchon Park in Dallas, Texas. From 12 pm to 3 p.m. central, Carry The Load has a Facebook Live sharing event, “Lessons from the Front.” Patriots are encouraged to pause at 3 p.m. local time for a one-minute “National Moment of Remembrance.” This moment is to honor those who died in service to the nation. Although this year’s events will look different, the mission to honor fallen heroes remains the same.
“In this time of uncertainty, our mission and our purpose has not changed,” said Stephen Holley, president and CEO of Carry The Load and Navy SEAL Veteran. “Since 2011, Carry The Load has provided an outlet for financial and emotional support to our nation’s heroes. With our current situation, the entire world has become painfully aware of the courage and sacrifice of those on the front lines.”
No Veteran Ever Dies
“The National Cemetery Administration greatly values our close partnership with Carry The Load, and Memorial Day provides an important opportunity to work together to pay tribute to the fallen and their families,” Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves said. “Our organizations’ missions are closely aligned, as we make sure that ‘No Veteran Ever Dies.’ This year’s online Memorial Day event will allow people to participate without traveling long distances. So, we actually have an opportunity to reach more people in more places than we would otherwise.”
VA operates 142 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. For Veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service. Information on VA burial benefits is available from local VA national cemetery offices, online at https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any open VA national cemetery, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.