Shots Fired To Honor Lost Soldiers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/28/04

Shots Fired To Honor Lost Soldiers

Veterans with the Pascagoula branch of the American Legion honored their fallen comrades with a six gun salute at a Memorial Day ceremony Friday morning. The ceremony began with a prayer from Chaplain James Watkins.

"Let us... not forget those who gave their lives for us," said Watkins after a brief moment of silence.

Pascagoula Mayor Joe Cole was among the dignitaries who spoke at the ceremony. He stressed to the crowd how important it is to remember the sacrifices that have been made to preserve our freedom.

"These were ordinary... yet extraordinary human beings. People who offered the best years of their lives in the service of our country," said Cole. "We should honor those men and women who gave all they had... so we can have all that we have."

Veterans attending the ceremony said they were touched by the fact that more than one hundred people came out to honor them and the thousands of soldiers who stood for freedom.

"Our freedoms are not easy," said Dan Pruitt a veteran who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. "They don't come free. You have to work for them. You have to defend them."

"Veterans give so much to protect America's freedoms," said Veteran David Latrell. "I was a school teacher for a number of years and I would not have had the right to go to college and the kids wouldn't have had a right to go to school if we didn't have veterans that protected those rights."

Friday's ceremony not only focused on veterans who served in the past, but also those serving now.

"It makes us mindful of those in Iraq and other places serving in our armed forces that put themselves at risk for us."

by Josh Ridgdell

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