MERRILL - Steven Jopek carries a number of memories with him on Memorial Day.
"This will be our 9th Memorial Day where he hasn't been here," said Steven.
This weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the last time he saw his brother, Ryan, in person.
"He would be 30 on June on 1st," said Ryan's sister Jessica Holmgren.
Ryan Jopek served in the Wisconsin Army Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2005.
"When he got the call to go, I supported him. We all did," said Ryan's father Brian Jopek. "I felt proud."
That pride turned into sorrow. Ryan was killed in action one year later when an explosive hit his Humvee in Iraq. But the Jopek family wouldn't let his memory fade.
To honor Ryan's sacrifice and to raise money for the scholarship in his name, the Jopek family held a Ruck Run in Merrill this weekend.
"Think of power-walking with a pack on," said Steven, trying to explain what a ruck is.
More than 50 people carried a pack with at least 20 pounds in it for 10k.
"We continued to be surprised by how much people care," said Jessica. "There's not a day that goes by that we don't appreciate and feel loved."
But this day wasn't just for Ryan.
"This is for people, like my son, who were lost, killed, in the line of duty. That's what Memorial Day is for," said Brian.
It's a holiday that brings those of us still here together, to remember people like Ryan Jopek.
"By all means, I want people to enjoy it. I want people to have brats and beers, and not get too crazy, but that's what they would have wanted," said Steven. "At the same time just take a moment and take off your hat and just kind of think about those that we've lost."
And hopefully carry their memory with us for many Memorial Days to come.