Jackson Co. citizens honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - On this Memorial Day, South Mississippians are taking part in patriotic ceremonies and laying wreaths at the tombs of brave soldiers.  At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ocean Springs, people stood up to say thank you to those who made sacrifices for our freedoms.

Bouquets of flowers and American Flag inspired ribbons sit at the faces of the fallen at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

"These guys paid the ultimate sacrifice," Becky Johnson said as she cried.

Becky Johnson and her family are from Mobile. They drive to Ocean Springs twice year to honor their cousin, who's among the honored on this wall. Johnson said when she looks his picture, she's reminded of his courageousness in battle.

"I think of a precious son, a precious solider, a brave soldier and a wonderful cousin."

Military veterans Donald Creel and his father, William, also came here to honor many of these other brothers, sons and loved ones on the wall who never made it home.

"I was blessed to go to Korea and come back, and some of them were not," William Creel said.

The former service men didn't personally know anyone on the wall. But they said this extraordinary group deserves praise because fighting for freedom is an unpredictable and difficult job.

"You are scared, you are tired, you are hungry," Donald Creel said.

"People get to where they take for granted their freedoms and their liberties, and they are the first ones to complain," Father Creel said. "But anyone has been overseas and stayed a while appreciates here."

The folks who came out here said they also want remember those who are still fighting on foreign soil to help keep us free.  With so many people putting their lives on in danger every day, they said it is important we never forget their service and sacrifice.

"Thank you for serving or country and all you have done for our freedom," memorial visitor Macinley Chastain said.

A freedom that is not free and every face on this wall is an example of the precious price that was paid.

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