FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — A Baldwin County Memorial Day tradition continues into 2020. Shortly after sunrise, dozens of people will take part in the annual Memorial Day Flag Relay to honor the service of veterans who are no longer with us.
“It brings a substance to it, if you’re not grieving a veteran you may not know what Memorial Day is for those who are experiencing that,” said organizer Tyler York. Each portion of the 37-mile route is sponsored by the family of a veteran who either died in the line of duty or has passed away. This year, 42 pictures and stories will line the route.
“It’s kind of mind-blowing, the idea of honoring a service member started last year before we were just running flags down the road in a relay but we wanted to put a face to it,” said Tyler York. They hope it prompts people who see the runners and flag pass by to also pause and honor the sacrifice.
“Memorial Day is not just another day off or to get together with family I hope they realize there’s a sacrifice that’s been paid that’s never been returned,” said organizer Elizabeth York. Police escorts surround and protect the runners at each stop in the relay–a reminder of the work veterans have done to keep the nation free.
The relay starts at two locations Monday morning. Runners leave the Loxley Veterans Memorial and the Beach Express/Highway 59 interchange in Summerdale at 7. Afterward runners meet after 11 at American Legion Post 44 in Gulf Shores. Anyone who wants more information can check their Facebook group or call Elizabeth York directly at 251-533-1323. Donations are also accepted at their GoFundMe page. The run was founded in 2009 by Chaplain Endel Lee, Rear Admiral, Navy Reserve.
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