VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Most people associate Memorial Day with cookouts and trips to the beach. However, it’s also a day to remember the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.
The initiative is spearheaded by the group “wear blue: run to remember.” Their goal is to honor the serve and sacrifice of our nation’s servicemembers.
For a Virginia Beach woman, the group and its mission, means a lot.
Carla Serex says her husband, Ricky, loved to live life. But on May 9th, 1991, his life was cut short.
“He was in a plane flying in an A6 jet and the plane crashed in the mountains of West Virginia,” said Serex.
She says she lived in a black cloud of grief for 10 years.
“You are left with holes in your heart, holes in your life,” said Serex.
Serex knew her husband would want her to live, and that’s when something caught her eye.
“I kept noticing these people who were at running events that had these tanks on, ‘wear blue,'” she said.
Serex did some research and learned about the nonprofit “wear blue: run to remember” and immediately got involved. The most meaningful part for her is getting assigned the name of a fallen service member, which she wears on her race bib every time she runs.
“It’s a way to keep their memory alive and to support their surviving families as well,” said Serex. “I really feel like this is the most important thing we can do for anybody who has lost somebody, especially serving in our military. And Memorial Day weekend is a great time to pause.”
Serex always tries to reach out to the family of the fallen service member and offer her condolences and support.
The nonprofit wants to honor the more than 65,000 men and women killed since the beginning of the Vietnam War by matching those names with runners this weekend.
Serex hopes to see more people run in blue, running to remember.
“It’s a silent nod to what our family has sacrificed and it’s also appreciation that it could be for any fallen service member,” Serex said. “We don’t want to forget. We want to remember, we want to say their names.”
You can learn more about signing up to run by clicking here. It is free to register.