A nonprofit honoring fallen military and first responders will pass through Austin on May 23-24 as part of its cross-country movement, officials announced in a news release May 20.

The overview

Throughout the month of May, Carry the Load volunteers will travel 20,000 miles across 48 states with 85 rallies, converging in Dallas on May 28 for the Dallas Memorial March on Memorial Day weekend.

The background

With a goal of raising $2.25 million for 2023, Carry the Load works to celebrate the nation's heroes, remember the fallen and educate communities on how to respectfully observe Memorial Day, said Stephen Holley, co-founder, president and CEO of Carry The Load and veteran U.S. Navy SEAL, in a news release April 13. Carry the Load events feature inspirational speeches, stories of fallen heroes, flag ceremonies, walking routes, storyboard processions, live music and more.

Get involved

People of all ages can walk with the National Relay team or attend a rally. Registration is free at www.carrytheload.org/memorial-may. For the Austin leg of the marathon, there are seven opportunities to participate in person between May 23-24. Other ways to get involved throughout the year include making a tax-deductible donation to the cause and making a tribute storyboard. Those interested can also shop online, where all proceeds go to the Carry the Load mission, or hold fundraisers in their area.

Quote of note

"Memorial Day is not just for those who have served or who have lost loved ones in service; it's for all of us to unite and honor the sacrifices made for our freedom,” Holley said. “We invite everyone to join us, walk alongside us and pay tribute to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.”