DALLAS — The Carry the Load March into Reverchon Park Sunday was just the beginning of a 20-hour walk to remember what mothers like Debbie Lee never forget.
She lost her son to war.
"Every day to us is Memorial Day," Lee said. "So take just once a year to stop and remember the freedoms that we have here in America that we are blessed to have."
When News 8 asked Lee who she was carrying, she pointed to the bracelets on her wrist. One is for her son Marc, who was the fist Navy SEAL killed in Iraq in August 2006.
The other is for his teammate, who she called her adopted son, Chris Kyle. Kyle was the "American Sniper" author who was murdered last year at a shooting range just outside of Glen Rose.
"I tell people that was Marc's final gift to me, his teammates," said Lee.
Known affectionately as "Mama Lee," she started the group America's Mighty Warriors to honor the sacrifices of troops and their families.
Tammie Ledsome Frias also walked for a son killed in Iraq in November 2006.
"I think it's a way for me to come and honor him, and — in a way — let go of him," she said. "For what he did for his country."
They are two mothers who lost sons in the same year, to the same war, and both have the same wish: That we give their sons and the Memorial Day holiday the respect they deserve.
"Memorial Day just isn't a day where you can go and shop or have barbecues," Frias said. "You should really take the time to do something to honor all of the military who have lost their lives for our freedoms."
Lee said with all the information available online, there are really no excuses,
"You can Google 'fallen heroes.' You can find out about Navy SEALs who died... World War II... any of the conflicts. It's easy to find."
Two mothers who found strength honoring their sons are simply asking us to find for ourselves the meaning of a day that has somehow been lost to many Americans.
The Carry The Load Dallas Memorial March along the Katy Trail is open to anyone who would like to take part, even for a short time. It is scheduled to continue through 12:14 p.m. Monday afternoon. No entry fee is required.
- CLICK FOR INFORMATION: Dallas Memorial March 2014