Dallas-based nonprofit Carry The Load hosted an event in Dallas on Friday for the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The day, in collaboration with the VA National Cemetery Administration, aims to honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, by volunteering to clean headstones and beautify sacred grounds at one of 63 participating National Cemetery locations across the U.S.
“If this is their final resting place and there’s nothing else we can do than just keep it up and make it look good and be proud of their name written on that gravestone and just keep it clean and honor them in that way,” said Dallas firefighter Beau York of Carry the Load.
Upwards of 300 local volunteers were expected at the local clean-up of DFW National Cemetery Friday.
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Chris Board, a Desert Storm veteran and a Gold Star father, was there. “My son is buried up in Fort Sill,” he said.
The DFW resident describes the annual cleanup event as "amazing."
“My son was 10 years old at 9/11 and he had already had ideas of being in the military because of me being a veteran and he ended up sacrificing his life on a battlefield in Afghanistan and it has a lot of meaning and I carry the load for him as well as others,” he said.
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Carry the Load is a nonprofit that provides active ways to connect Americans to the sacrifices of the nation’s military, veterans, first responders and their families.
The organization is also hosting events across the country for Patriot Day this weekend, a holiday observed on Sept. 11 to commemorate the lives of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“After serving on active duty post-9/11, many of us returned home having lost good men and women whom we served alongside,” said Stephen Holley, co-founder, president and CEO of Carry The Load and veteran U.S. Navy SEAL. “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 honor the memory of those left behind.”