memorialday5kflagI recently ran the Five Star Memorial Day 5k in Marietta. This was my 1st Memorial Day race and even though it was a considerable drive for me for a local race, it was well worth it. The weather was good, the DJ was good, the route was good, the shirt was good, the medal was good…but what made this race different, in my opinion, was the day…Memorial Day.

Americans celebrate Memorial Day in different ways. Some go to parades, some visit memorials, some pray, some picnic, some shop and some of us race. None of those activities will bring back the lives of those brave Americans lost to war, but they cause us to remember and reflect (well, I don’t know about shopping:)

How does a road race honor Memorial Day? An American Flag was held up by a participant and the National Anthem was sung. Everyone stopped and respected the moment. The flag bearing participant then carried her flag during the race. Active & retired military personnel raced for free. Proceeds from the race were donated to K9s for Warriors, a non-profit dedicated to providing service canines to our Warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11.

And, personally, during the race there seemed to be a camaraderie that existed because we were all there on that day, doing that race, with our individual thoughts of the significance of Memorial Day. We weren’t going to bring anyone back from the grave but we could honor their memory, and honor those that are still serving, by helping those veterans that are suffering from their service.

If you haven’t done a race on Memorial Day, put it on your bucket list for next year.

And now and always, God bless our troops and our veterans.