Carry The Load, a Dallas-based nonprofit that provides ways for Americans to honor the military, veterans, first responders, and their families, has curated a lineup of events to unify and strengthen communities across the nation in light of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Twenty years ago, four coordinated attacks on the morning of September 11 destroyed both World Trade Center buildings and severely damaged the Pentagon, taking the lives of 3,000 people and injuring more than 6,000 others.
This year, Carry The Load is encouraging people to show families that the death of their loved one mattered.
“After serving on active duty post-9/11, many of us returned home having lost good men and women whom we served alongside,” Stephen Holley, co-founder, president, and CEO of Carry The Load, said in a statement. “This Patriot Day, I want to challenge Americans to do an act of service in their community, teach the next generation about how 9/11 unified our nation, and always remember those left behind.”
Register Now: National Day of Service
On Friday, September 10, in collaboration with the National Cemetery Administration and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Carry The Load is hosting a National Day of Service.
Volunteers can participate in the initiative by cleaning headstones and beautifying the grounds at 65 VA national cemeteries across the country. Locally, the event will be held at DFW National Cemetery at 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway in Dallas.
Register Now: Heroes Challenge
On September 11, Carry The Load is hosting a Heroes Challenge, in which attendees can work out in-person or virtually to raise supportive funds. The organization encourages people to test their strength in the fitness challenge designed by military experts.
It aims to generate awareness of Carry The Load’s mission: “to remember those who have served our country and encourage all Americans to participate in honoring them.”
In North Texas, the event will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Adaptive Training Foundation in Carrollton.
All activities are family friendly and require registration ahead of time. Everyone will receive a list of those who died on 9/11 and a bib on which to write a name of someone they wish to honor and remember.
“No 9/11 date should ever pass without Americans coming together and remembering why we have our freedom,” U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Carry The Load Board Member Todd Boeding said.
About the nonprofit
Founded in 2011 by Holley and a group of veteran U.S. Navy SEALs, Carry The Load is meant to remember our nation’s heroes and the sacrifices they make. The veterans felt like the nation had forgotten the meaning of Memorial Day, and wanted to do something about it.
In the nonprofit’s first year, a group of 402 people walked around White Rock Lake on Memorial Day to remember fallen service members. Now that’s become a worldwide movement.
A decade later, in 2021, Carry The Load gathered 12,000 people on the Katy Trail and raised $1.25 million through peer-to-peer fundraising throughout the month of May. Events were held in 50 states and 29 countries. In all, it’s raised $28.6 million since founding.
Ninety-three percent of the funds go toward Carry The Load’s Awareness, Continuum of Care, and Education programs.
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