Iowa sisters launch photo 'parade' to honor military veterans on Memorial Day

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Sisters Carrie and Stacie Stoelting are lifelong Iowans who have dedicated their lives to spreading patriotism.

In 2008, they started an organization “Unite the USA” as a platform to educate and inspire Americans to come together and show appreciation for their country and those who serve it.

The sisters spoke to Fox News about how Memorial Day is an opportunity for Americans to refocus on honoring heroes who may have been forgotten amid the health crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Ever since we started Unite the USA, we have had an emphasis on teaching kids and families to get on out there, learn things about our country, talk to our veterans, thank them, do things to thank them,” Carrie Stoelting told Fox News.

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In April, Carrie and Stacie started an online initiative called "Mission Impossible: Operation Honor Heroes 2020." They encourage anyone with a loved one who has served, or is serving, in the military to send them a picture to post on their website in an “online parade of pictures,” in lieu of real parades this year.

“We want to offer, through our mission, ways to honor the fallen this Memorial Day in particular. We also want to remember our veterans and our military families and those currently serving. And so by doing so, you can send pictures of your loved ones who have served past and present. We're going to have an online parade to honor our servicemen and women,” said Carrie.

Stacie Stoelting, Colonel Bud Nelson, and Carrie Stoelting

Stacie Stoelting, Colonel Bud Nelson, and Carrie Stoelting

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The sisters believe that, over time, many have forgotten what a blessing it is to live in the United States. They hope the extreme government intervention that is taking place to fight the spread of COVID-19, which many would argue is a violation of citizens’ rights, will serve as a reminder of what is most important: freedom.

“Memorial Day weekend is a big wake up call for us as a country to remember that our fallen heroes who did just that, they laid down their lives for us, for our freedoms. And, you know, we've all had things totally changed and we suddenly understand the value of freedom. This is a time to thank veterans for the freedoms that we were accidentally taking for granted before the COVID-19 response,” said Stacie Stoelting.

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