LOUISVILLE, Ohio — While parades and ceremonies fill communities across the country honoring Memorial Day, some are remembering those loved ones lost one step at a time.
Brittany Knappenberger of Louisville is among those, donning a blue shirt, and running this holiday weekend. For the 33-year-old, she does it in honor of her sister, 1st Lieutenant Ashley White, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan back in October 2011.
“She was an active runner,” Knappenberger said. “I run to honor her and to heal as well. She was kind, she was humble, and she was one of those very rare individuals.”
The organization behind these runs, “wear blue: run to remember” is calling for members of the community to run alongside Gold Star families, those family members of a fallen service member who was killed in combat or passed away from a service-related illness.
“Wear blue: run to remember,” leaders told News 5 it is active with more than 60 groups across the country, including 26 states as well as Germany and Japan.
Knappenberger started running with “wear blue: run to remember” as a way to keep her sister’s memory alive.
“There are days it feels like it’s been forever, and there are days that feel like it was yesterday,” she said.
Even today, she still runs, despite being eight months pregnant.
“The baby is due in July,” she said. “The middle name of my daughter will be Ashley. This child will not only know the story of her aunt, she will carry her name, and then she will allow Ashley’s story and legacy to continue to live on.”
As Knappenberger points out, the group does not run for fundraising purposes, or for personal satisfaction, but rather an awareness for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“As a Gold Star family member, that truly is the highest honor we can achieve and receive is just to have their stories be told and speak their names,” she said.
To learn more about “wear blue: run to remember,” click here. The group hosts runs across the country throughout the year.