Woodlawn mother honors late son who served in the Navy this Memorial Day weekend
A Woodlawn mother who is still grieving her son who died in 2012 plans to honor him this Memorial Day weekend.
"He was a very loud child, very outgoing and a daredevil. Would try and do anything," says Karen Burns while recalling fond memories of her son, Nicholas Barrett, who died while serving in the Navy. "Always wanted to be in the military since he was 6. I remember stepping on the [toy] soldiers and the trucks in the middle of the night."
Barrett joined the Navy and after time away at sea, his shipmates decided to have some fun. On Christmas Eve 2012, a group decided to go cliff diving in Guam, where they were stationed. It ultimately led to his death at the age of 22.
"So Nick dove back into the water to help his shipmate get up. The other fella got up, as Nick was coming up the rope, a wake came in, broke the rope and took him out into the ocean," Burns explains.
Tuesday's Children, a nonprofit which serves families impacted by terrorism, military conflict, and mass violence, will be holding the Rise Up and Remember Memorial Day Virtual 5k. Burns will walk 3 miles in memory of her son.
"They've connected us with other military families who've experienced the same loss I have," she says.
On top of honoring her son, Burns says this is a way to remind people of the true meaning behind Memorial Day.
"It's not only going to the beach and the starting of the summer. We honor and remember those who have lost their lives so we could live our lives," she says.
Burns will have all weekend to complete the race, and she's hoping it returns to an in-person event next year.