Heroes involved in Mississippi crash remembered with Memorial March

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On July tenth of last year, seven U.S. Marine Raiders and nine Marine Aviator crew members died in a crash while heading to pre-deployment training. One year later, they’re being remembered with a 900 mile journey. Loaded with weight, it’s a grueling eleven-day ruck-march for a team of 30 Marine Raiders and special amphibious reconnaissance Navy corpsmen to remember some fallen heroes.

“It’s a way for us to honor our fallen aside from just doing a memorial service or setting up some sort of memorial, something like that. If something we physically do, every step that we take is a chance for us to honor our fallen and get their names out too and tell their stories,” the Ruckers said.

The march has taken them through five states to honor the Marines and Navy corpsman killed when their aircraft crashed in Mississippi on July 10, 2017. For the founder, Nathan Harris, it’s important to not forget these heroes and remember them for their contribution.

“It motivates us to continue doing what we’re doing and that’s moving forward in all of our lives. We’re not letting the fact that they crashed in a plane, we’re not letting that define who our friends were as people,” Harris said.

The Ruckers carry a Marine Raider flag and wear packs filled with more than 40 pounds of soil from the crash site. They’ll use the soil to plant a tree at Camp Lejeune. Many came out to show their support.

“I’m very emotional about it and it’s such an amazing feeling to know that some people really do care and that they’re honoring that awesome group of men,” supporter Frances Coulbourn said.

These Ruckers say they want people to know one thing about these heroes.

“There’s a lot of people between Mississippi and here that don’t know the names of the guys that were in the crash. They don’t know what family members they had, what hobbies they had, what interests they had. So one of the important things that we’re trying to do is to keep them alive and tell their story,” the Ruckers said.

They still have quite a way to go but they encourage anyone to come out and show their support. For more information, click here.

Categories: Local, New Hanover