'Carry the Load' event honors military members, veterans

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Saturday May 18th is "Carry the Load" day in Tampa, where the community marched together in support of those who dedicate their lives to military service. 

Carry the Load is a non-profit organization with representatives across the country who organize events to honor Memorial Day, and on Saturday Tampa representatives invited the community out to march the Riverwalk. 

"I'm carrying the load for one of my soldiers," said participant Jaime Umanzor, one of the 1,000 march participants. "I lost PFC Martinez in Iraq, and Sgt. Liberty once he got back here in a motorcycle accident."

In some cases, the load is a physical one, but more often than not the load is the emotional weight of losing a loved one in the line of duty. 

"So many of us have served overseas and we come back and unfortunately there's some that didn't come back with us. They made the ultimate sacrifice. We carry that memory. We carry that burden with us," said Carry The Load representative Josh Lewis. 

Former first responder, and current Tampa Mayor, Jane Castor set the tone for the morning with opening remarks.

"Anyone who has dedicated their life to our nation, you have my utmost respect and my promise that I will always be there for you every step of the way." 

Carry The Load held an outdoor celebration for those in attendance including live music, food, kids activities, and booths offering information on veteran's services.