EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A national relay working its way through Pennsylvania hopes to restore the real meaning behind Memorial Day.

In this edition of Veterans Voices, a grassroots effort that’s grown into a worldwide movement and raised millions of dollars for veterans in need.

What began 10 years ago by a pair of veteran navy seals who felt the country had forgotten the meaning of Memorial Day, is now a 48-state effort involving 100 rallies in towns big and small.

For 32 days the “Carry the Load” relay honors first responders and fallen military while reminding Americans that memorial day is more than just another day on the calendar.

Organizers say it’s especially important for young people to get the message.

It’s putting education around patriotism and why the flag is important and what it stands for, and what service to your country means,” stated Cody Bandars, a former navy seal.

“It’s not academic. Kids can tough and feel and be a part of it, to see what service is and meet the people who’ve served our country and meet the families who have lost folks,” said Bandars.

Along with being a cathartic way for veterans and first responders to remember lost loved ones, carrying the load raises more money more than 30 million since the effort began in 2011.

“Our money goes directly to non-profits that we vet that are already doing a great job caring for the physical and mental ways of our veterans, military, first responders and police and their families,” explained Bandars.

If you’d like to make NEPA be a part of the relay next year go to the “Carry The Load” website.