The 60-mile trek is the most physically difficult aspect of the Ruck to Remember, which combines aspects of comradery, remembrance, and education together with a bonding, but exhausting, three-day hike.
Activity, Charity, Helping, Ruck to Remember

The 2024 Ruck to Remember: Why You Can’t Miss This Amazing Event

It’s held over Memorial Day Weekend. For many veterans, this is a time to remember those that paid the ultimate price, putting their lives before your freedoms. While much of the country celebrates the unofficial start of summer with barbecues and fireworks, those that have served will spend it a different way.

The Ruck to Remember, a massive event organized by The Honor Movement Foundation now in its X-YEAR, will be held on Memorial Day Weekend, as it is each year. The festivities encompass the full weekend, with unique components that all allow those from all walks of life to become involved.

60 to 60

The most intense portion of the Ruck to Remember is the “60 to 60.” This physically demanding hike begins with the pick-up on Saturday, May 25 at 05:00 as buses are loaded at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

“The 60 to 60 isn’t just an event; it’s a mission,” says Keith Jolly, a volunteer board member of The Honor Movement Foundation.  “to highlight the strength and commitment of our war-fighters and united the country with our mission to HONOR, EMPOWER, and NEVER FORGET the sacrifices made in the defense of our freedoms, while always remembering those that paid the ultimate sacrifice and to those that continue to endure the sacrifices of battle.”

Any volunteers are welcome to ruck the hike, however it is a massively physical adventure to take on, and it is recommended that you prepare well in advance, minimally 90 days prior. The foundation even created a “How to Prepare” guide, filled with stretches, work-outs, and even a full required and recommended “Gear List.” Civilians, veterans, and active duty come together over the three-day event, which requires each participant to carry a 30- to 40-pound backpack over extreme inclines and declines, in addition to a long and mentally-demanding trek on a paved Trail.

 As the loaded buses head toward the Movement’s start, the 60-mile journey starts in Harper’s Ferry, WV. In the 35 hours that follow the first steps, the team will cover the entire route, rucking over austere terrain, all to remember those sacrifices.

“It starts off so quiet,” said Jolly. “We bus up the mountain. It is before dawn, dark. Once we jump out that bus door, they’re jumping out, grabbing rucks, and on the go. It’s almost like jumping out of the helicopter.”

Jolly, official title/former or current, said from the start, you can almost feel the emotion building all day long.

“The rapid pace begins, and momentum starts to build,” he said. “We begin a physically demanding and emotionally intense hike.”

Those that endure the hike, Jolly says, do so to remember the fallen, as well as those still defending the country.

“Along the way it gets incredibly physical,” said Jolly. “This is when the comradery starts to build.”

Hikers, who begin the journey as strangers, must rely on one another to get to the finish. Jolly said that from bandaging bloody feet and patching one another up, to simply sharing the sweat and tears along the way, the hikers truly connect.

“By the end, they are hugging and coming together,” Jolly said of the participants.

The incredible event not only brings together the men and women that hike, but these cementing bonds also provide a chance for veterans to find a comradery that is “only felt through sacrifice.” 

The Final Miles

As the 60 miles winds toward its end, the hikers are joined by a second “event within an event.” The Final Miles, which encompasses the six miles at the hike’s conclusion, is the “capstone” of the Ruck to Remember.

As the 60 to 60 team descends on the nation’s capital around sunrise Monday, The Final Miles walkers join them. Together, the massive group winds through the National War Memorials and into Arlington National Cemetery, Section 60. Section 60 is a space within the cemetery which honors those service members interred after being killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Final Miles, the last six of the 60 to 60 trek, allows friends, families, and loved ones to join the team as they wind through war memorials and culminate with a solemn march through Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60.

On Memorial Day Monday, these gravesites are honored as governmental employees place flags on each site. What is already often referred to as “the saddest acres in America,” the conclusion of this lengthy journey through these hallowed grounds is very solemn and emotional.

“Though only six miles, not everyone just wakes up and walks six miles,” said Jolly. “With that said, it is a slower-paced movement, with ample time to rest and reflect.”

Jolly says that this portion of the weekend is a “walk through the warriors.” Broken down into smaller groups to respectfully move through memorials, the teams can pause to learn more about each, providing moments of reflection and education along the way.

The Final Miles end with the entire movement rejoining together to push through the cemetery. Led by percussion and bagpipes, the culmination at Arlington National Cemetery is an emotional conclusion. Members then disperse through the cemetery to pay respects to fallen warriors interred there.

Support This Worthy Cause

Those that cannot walk in the events in-person do not have to be left out of the heart-warming and caring events. Donations can be taken online. Donors can elect to back a particular participant or simply give to the nonprofit.

In addition to offering love, support, comradery, during the event, the Ruck to Remember is a fundraising event for the nonprofit. Funds raised at the ruck support The Honor Movement Foundation’s Programs of Impact. These programs are geared to directly affect and serve “those that serve us.”

Donations are welcome at any time of the year. National sponsorship packages for the Ruck to Remember allow for corporate or personal partnerships. For more information on how your business can support veterans and first responders who benefit directly from The Honor Movement Foundation’s programs, email

For more information on The Honor Movement Foundation, which is 100% volunteer-led, and how you can become involved with this nonprofit organization, which is always welcoming volunteers, call 202-805-2636 or visit the website for a Contact Us form. The Honor Movement Foundation is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt public charity (EIN # 85-092-6443). Mail-in donations may also be made and mailed to:

The Honor Movement Foundation

42395 Ryan Road

Suite 122, PMB 206

Ashburn, VA 20148