U.S. Air Force Airman Makai Cummings was returning to his base in North Carolina from a visit home to Baltimore when his car got a flat tire.

He pulled over on Interstate 295 outside Richmond, Virginia, to change the tire in the early morning of May 8, 2023, when he was struck and killed in a hit-and-run.

“I don’t know why this had to happen to my son, but I trust God,” said Rotina Lacy, Cummings’ mother. “I’m commanded to forgive [the driver].”

Cummings will be honored Monday at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens’ 57th annual Memorial Day Ceremony, honoring the lives of fallen service members with Maryland ties.

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“[Memorial Day] is not a day off. For me, now, it’s remembering not just my son, but I understand now the sacrifice the families make as well,” Lacy said.

The case remains unsolved.

“He would often say, ‘Mom, I’m going to make you proud.’ He exceeded that. So, he did what he set out to do — which was make me proud,” Lacy said.

Cummings was a lacrosse player at Baltimore City College and had been accepted to Morehouse College but enlisted instead.

“If you knew Makai, you know once he made up his mind, there’s no stopping him,” Lacy said. “He had so much more to do. He impacted the lives of his coworkers, the lives of his family, the lives of his friends, his classmates. He mattered to us. He mattered to the City of Baltimore. He mattered to all of us, and he had a lot more to do.”