The March for the Fallen is held the weekend of September 11 every year to pay tribute to local military personnel who have lost their lives since 9/11, whether it was to war or suicide.
Every year the number of lives lost grows, giving organizers all the more reason to fight to keep the march going.
Knowing even just one soldier killed in combat is one too many. Unfortunately it's a reality of war.
“You fear for your life every day but you just try to think of good things to get through it,” Matthew McLean said.
McLean deployed for 12 months to Afghanistan in 2012.
“It was definitely one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life and if I could go back I would for sure,” he said.
He came home but the many others who did not, is not lost on him. When Matthew got out of the military, he started a clothing company with his brother and best friend, donating a portion of the proceeds to local veteran charities.
“I felt like there was still something else that we should be doing to give back and that's kind of when we stumbled across March for the Fallen,” he said.
March for the Fallen was originally started by local veterans wanting to honor their friends who never made it home. Now Matthew, his brother and best friend are working to carry on the message as the new event organizers.
“We are all very honored to be a part of this,” Navy veteran Greg Masters said.
Every dollar raised goes directly back to local veterans groups.
“It's just like, that could be my brother,” Jacob McLean said. “Freedom truly isn't free. I mean someone is paying for it, someone gave the ultimate sacrifice so we could have our freedom.”
Lining the course of the march are the many faces of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“It will open up some old wounds but it's good to do that I think,” Matthew McLean said.
The march is September 10 this year and there is a 5k, 10k, or 15k march you can take part in. Registration closes on September 9.