Coast Remembers American Lives Lost At War

The death toll of American troops serving in Iraq weighs heavily on many minds this Memorial Day weekend. A service at Veteran's Memorial Park in D'Iberville paid tribute to the fallen comrades of Korea, Vietnam, World War II and the more recent Operation Iraqi Freedom. So far, 160 Americans have lost their lives in that conflict.

Part of the service included reading the names of men who sacrificed their lives for America many years ago, but the moment was also dedicated to the current generation of service men and women who have died for their county.

"In remembrance of those who recently made the supreme sacrifice, those who are in jeopardy right now, and those who are subject to pay the supreme sacrifice in the hazards involved in serving your country," said veteran L.C. "Doc" Blanchard.

Veteran Joe Roberts said, "We need to remember everyone of them at Veteran's services, Memorial or Fourth of July. Any holiday that we have, we need to celebrate the veterans."

The Veterans of Foreign Wars gather in the park every year. They say they know the effects of war last long after the homecoming parades end.

V.F.W. state commander Johnnie Richard said, "A lot of these men are coming home to wounds physical as well as mental, while they're gone their families have problems."

With nearly 1,500 World War II veterans dying each day, some veterans say if younger generations don't appreciate the symbolism of Memorial Day services, they too will one day die out.

"Once we forget our veterans we might as well kiss America goodbye because we are gone," said Roberts.