Carry the load invites May 5.jpg

A relay team from Carry The Load, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to bring awareness of the sacrifices made each day by our military, veterans, first responders and their families, will travel through the Rocket City on May 22.

“It really means that people care enough to think about those whom they never knew, but they know lost their lives because of serving this country,” Julie Kink, a Gold Star sister, said when asked what it means to her when people she doesn’t know do things to honor those who’ve died while serving.

“It means that people in the general public care enough to recognize that Memorial Day is something special and it’s not only the official start to summer,” she said.

Carry The Load’s mission is to reconnect people with the meaning behind Memorial Day by traveling over 15,000 miles across the country, via four trails, which will converge in Dallas, Texas, on May 30, according to the group’s website.

There are plans to cheer the relay team on at the Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial in downtown Huntsville, during a short ceremony at the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, according to Marshall Eubanks, who co-chaired a committee to raise funds and have the monument installed at the park last year. Kink, who also co-chaired the Gold Star Families Memorial Committee, will emcee the event.

The ceremony at the GSFMM is expected to take place around 4:30 p.m., depending on when exactly the relay participants arrive at the memorial.

“It’s kind of a big deal that they’re coming to Huntsville,” Eubanks said.

Eubanks encouraged people to get involved in a number of ways:

• Attend the short ceremony at the GSFMM to cheer for the relay team and walkers;

• Sign up to walk a segment. Sign up at;

• Make a donation at;

• Bring signage to support relay;

• Bring signs or pictures of someone you are “Carrying The Load” for;

• Or stand along a route segment to cheer for the relay participants.

The relay will make four handoffs in the Rocket City. The first will take place at College Plaza Shopping Center, 4701 Meridian St. North around 2:30 p.m. Then they will proceed to the Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial at 200 Monroe St. From there the group will arrive at Dick’s Sporting Goods at 2718 Carl T. Jones Drive around 6:30 p.m. and continue on to the final stop in Huntsville at the Publix Super Market at Mountain Cove Crossing, 12796 Bailey Cove Road, where the team will load a bus and travel to Mountain Brook.

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