WILTON, N.Y.(NEWS10) – Memorial Day serves as more than just a three day weekend. It’s an opportunity to reflect on those we’ve lost while serving in the armed forces. One event did just that for fallen hometown hero Abigail Jenks.

Dozens of runners hoisted their rucksacks and stepped into a service member’s shoes this Memorial Day for a race that’s part military training and part charity work.

The Abigail Jenks Memorial Day Ruck Race at Gavin Park in Wilton honors the late paratrooper who died during a training exercise back in April 2021. Co-organizers Jack Trimmings and Vincent Sablich did their own ruck for Abigail last year, but this year wanted to let the community join in.

“A lot of people saw us rucking around with the flag and were touched by what we were doing”, said Sablich. The proceeds going towards a scholarship fund in Abigail’s honor for Saratoga Springs High School students.

“Really get to know the sacrifices that the families as well as the service members have to put in”, said Trimmings.

“It just means a lot to me that people are on board with me and I’m not alone”, said Mary Tator, Abigail’s mother. Tator said she’s touched so many still honor her daughter’s bravery, sense of adventure, and her passion as an artist.

Every runner was carrying a piece of Abigail with them. Sablich added, “This pin right here is a war hammer designed for her paratrooper division when she was stationed down there.”