WACO, TX — Cyclist from Carry the Load’s West Coast relay team spent Thursday night at the Waco Fire Department Station on Imperial st. It's another brief pit stop in Carry the Load’s mission to bring back the true meaning of Memorial Day. This morning they're among the four other relay teams traveling more than 15,000 miles since the start of May across the country.
"We are traveling among the four relays over 15,000 mile," West Coast Route leader of the Carry the Load relay Michael Golden said.
Early morning rain didn't seem to deter anyone's spirits, as participants and supporters lined up along the bus in the parking lot of the Waco Fire Station on Imperial St.
"I got to tell you, it's great to be back out her," Golden said. "I've been on this relay since 2017 and missing it in 2020 due to COVID was regrettable."
Golden says he's been a frequent particpant in Carry the Load because of his repsect for the sacrifice made by both our mitlary men and women, but also firefighters.
"I do this for firefighters," Golden explained. "I had a house burned down in 1990 and those people came in and help my family," Golden said."And we had a veteran actually go into the house and help my wife get out of the house, and it burned completely to the ground."
Asked if he thinks society has lost the true meaning of Memorial Day, Golden said he thinks so.
"You know, you could say that it's not that much different than other holidays," he explained."That's where we get lost into the purchasing of and things. Somehow things commercialized and we lose the point of why we have that holiday."
But that it's certainly not the picture he sees participating in CTL's memorial relay over the years. Golden says the more people they touch, the more they've been able to see the meaning come back to the forefront.
"We see thousands of people on these relays and the rallies, you know."
Golden remarks one person whose interaction has stuck with them during this years relay.
"I met a woman. We were just walking, doing one of our relay legs, and she pulled up and asked us what we were doing, and I talked to her and come to find out she lost a brother in 1964."
Golden explained how emotional she become in showing her appreciation for seeing work done to bring awareness the memory of fallen service men and women.
"What is that almost 60 years? That's a long time to carry that burden and to be emotional about it. And so we're reaching people, and I believe the meaning is coming back and we're going to have people caring on Memorial Day."
The West coast relay team will be at Waco Fire Station on Peach St. at 11 a.m. today. From there, today's route will take them through Lakeview and Whitney.
Finally, the home stretch will take teams into Dallas, Carry The Load's hometown, where this year's relay will culminate with a 2-day Memorial Day weekend event to honor our heroes. For more information on this weekend's events in Dallas, how to participate in Carry The Load visit this link.