Man Walks Mackinac Bridge Walk in Honor of Fallen Son

Many people come to cross the bridge with a special purpose in mind.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik have more details on a man walking in honor of his son who died serving overseas.

"I started bringing the flag and carrying it just in memory of all those and in honor of all those who are serving our country," walker John Burri said. 

For the last three years John Burri has been walking across the Mackinac Bridge.

Every walk he brings something meaningful along with him–an American flag.

"I carry it high. I don’t care how sore that arm gets. I just rotate it from arm to arm," Burri said. "I’m just so grateful and so thankful, this little bit of pain I get here, it’s nothing compared to what some of these soldiers have to bear." 

But walking in honor for those who served is personal for John.

His son, Eric Burri, was a soldier serving in Iraq when the Humvee Eric was driving struck an IED and killed him in 2005. 

"Some people say, ‘does the pain ever go away?’ and no it doesn’t," Burri said. "You deal with. You learn how to deal with it and life goes on. You have to carry on. That’s how we keep them alive in our hearts and in our memories." 

Now, John says it’s important to recognize the people who are currently serving.

"I try to shake the hand of every soldier along this bridge today," Burri said. "Jogging back and forth just to thank them because, really, we can’t them enough."

And not just honoring those serving in the military, but the laborers who we celebrate on Labor Day.

"For our labor force and you know, I mean, goodness gracious, your police and fire and paramedics and that. They work hard for us, so we salute them as well for being there," Burri said. "God bless America and people fly that flag high and fly it proud."