GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of people gathered in Gautier Friday morning to honor a man who gave his life for his country.
Major Michael Green was killed by a roadside bomb during a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Friday a two mile section of Highway 90 was named in memory of the 36-year-old Green Beret.
Friends and family remembered the man who's being called an American hero and one of Mississippi's finest. A thankful community filled the Gautier Convention Center Friday to remember and honor Major Michael Green.
"Each time we pass that sign on the highway out there, I hope that we think about his dedication, his service and his sacrifice. And that we think about the family that's left here," said Jackson County Supervisor Mike Mangum.
Major Green's family was thankful for the crowd at Friday's dedication and appreciative of the community's kindness and support.
"This community has stood up and really supported all of us and the family. And has been a beacon of light and an example for the rest of the country about how we should remember our fallen heroes and how we should treat our veterans," said the soldier's brother, Scott Green.
The state vice chairman of the order of the purple heart said those who've experienced combat know what it's like to "walk the valley."
"Some of us, God takes us all the way through it. Some of us, he gets you halfway through and says, 'Son, it's time to come home.' That's what he did with Major Green," said Jack Johnson.
Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown said he has always respected the men and women who serve in our armed forces.
"Major Green put himself in harm's way so we can live safely. He made the sacrifice, he stepped to the front," Brown told the crowd.
Scott Green said his brother loved telling others about the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"Throughout his life, he was a great ambassador for this area and for this community down on the coast. There are probably more people that know about this little slice of heaven down here now, because of having met him," said Green.
A new highway sign will be a permanent reminder of Major Michael Green's service and sacrifice.
"Michael did not consider himself a hero. He considered himself a man doing his job. And he wanted to be in the Army from the time he was a little bitty boy. He considered the Army his job and he did it with great ability and we're really proud of him," said Jane Breland Green, the soldier's mother.
"This was not for show, it was patriotism from the heart. And it makes the Green family just swell with pride and thankfulness that everyone appreciated our loved one like we appreciated our loved one," said Major Green's mother.