Musical Memorial Day tribute for military service, sacrifice

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

LYMAN, MS (WLOX) - "If I stumble, if I fall, He's waiting right there to catch me," sang a gospel group from Florida.

It's the type of music that moves the body and the soul.

"It speaks to the heart rather than to the mind.  That's what it's all about," said Korean War Veteran Dawson Curtis.

Spiritual tunes filled the sanctuary at Campground Baptist Church in Lyman on Monday. For the 300 people who attended, patriotism and songs of praise are part of their annual Memorial Day observance.

"It's good that they come around and recognize us, especially the ones that have passed away.  That's the main ones, not old guys like me," said Korean and Vietnam War Veteran Jim Doyle.

The gospel concert was a way for the community to give thanks to those who gave up their lives.

"It's just a celebration of our freedom," said Pastor Bryan Atwood.  "They have done so much to make this a free country for us. So it's a way for us to give back to the community.  Have good music and a good day together."

And the music stopped briefly for a prayer to remember those who are still serving.

"We pray God, Your blessing and Your protection of our troops.  We thank You for those that leave home even now to defend and protect our freedom," the pastor prayed.

"And that's why we have Memorial Day, to honor them and the sacrifice they made," said Anna Christian of St. Martin. "They made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom to be able to listen to really whatever music we want to."

The Gospel Sing is an outdoor event, but because of the rain Monday, organizers moved the show into the church. The pastor says future concerts may be held indoors, because it's much cooler and more comfortable.

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