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A New Way to Mark Memorial Day

We are a tradition minded household. Every Memorial Day we visit some forsaken cemetery, hunt for the graves of veterans and place flags. But we’re also on the hunt for new ways to honor the fallen.

That’s why last year we jumped as fast as we could onto the Wear Blue: Run to Remember living memorial, Memorial Day bandwagon. This group, based in Washington State at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was started by Gold Star wife Lisa Hallett after her husband was killed by a roadside bomb in 2010.

What began as a way for the Lewis-McChord community to support each other during and after a difficult deployment has morphed into a worldwide, blue-wearing community who runs with a single mission: running for the fallen, the fighting and the families.

It’s easy to get involved. All you have to do is wear blue and move forward.

The organization aims to bridge the gap between the military and community. You don’t have to be a part of the military community to run or walk.

When tragedy strikes we naturally want to know what we can do to help. When there is nothing to do and we don’t know what to say, we feel lost and instead don’t do anything.

This organization gives you something to do. You can run.

Last Memorial Day the organization took pledge miles with the aim of 6,470 miles run in conjunction with the group on Memorial Day, 2012.

Instead, participants ran over 18,000 miles in 50 states, the District and 12 countries.

That’s a lot of running and remembering.

How you honor the fallen on Memorial Day is a very personal choice – especially to those who have lost someone in war.

But Memorial Day is about pausing from your busy schedule and taking a moment to remember and honor those who gave all. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to happen.

What better way than taking an hour for a walk or run in blue?

Interested? Check out the Wear Blue: Run to Remember Memorial Day page to pledge your miles and look for a Wear Blue meet-up in your area.

Can’t find one? Step outside and go alone, or get a few friends together to walk and talk about the fallen you’ve known. You’ll be surprised by how much that simple act of moving and remembering touches you.

About Amy Bushatz

Amy is the managing editor of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is an Associate Editor. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on NPR and in the New York Times. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.