Memorial Day is a time to recall the sacrifice that freedom often demands.
Monday, hundreds of people gathered at Biloxi National Cemetery to reflect and remember.
They listened to patriotic words as thousands of military graves provided a solemn reminder of the ultimate sacrifice.
This Memorial Day event always includes impressive speakers and music and the 21 gun salute. But it's the setting that makes this ceremony so impressive. Thirteen thousand graves give real meaning to the moment.
"Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light."
Angelina Davis set a patriotic mood when the 15 year old sang a near perfect National Anthem.
Americans who cherish freedom recall the sacrifice which makes it possible.
"We pause on this day to bring close to our hearts those memories we hold so dear, memories of the men and women buried on this sacred ground. These markers and American flags are a constant reminder to we the living of the great cost of democracy and freedom," said Navy Chaplain Gerald Seely, who delivered the invocation.
Those in the military understand the job requirement that comes with wearing the uniform. One speaker called freedom "a never finished work".
The commander of the Gulfport Seabee Base summed up the significance of Memorial Day by referencing the thousands of graves at Biloxi National Cemetery.
"They paid the ultimate price to protect each of our freedoms. These freedoms that we enjoy and cherish not just on Memorial Day, but each and every day of our existence," said Captain Brian Kelm.
A solitary monument in the cemetery pays tribute to fallen heroes. Military service groups brought wreaths to recognize those who gave their all for the American ideals of freedom, liberty and justice.
Memorial Day calls for reflection and remembrance. The keynote speaker says such patriotic feeling should be ongoing.
"For a nation to be truly great and remain great, having one day to function as Memorial Day is necessary but not sufficient for the nation to remain strong," said Rear Admiral Thomas Donaldson.
Chaplain Seeley summed up the sacrifice best.
"Regardless of race, creed or religion, they gave their last full measure so we may live in freedom and peace," he said.