BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - In a matter of minutes, over 1,100 Christmas wreaths were distributed throughout the Biloxi National Cemetery, honoring those who died while serving their country.
For Sydney Rabun of Biloxi High School's Junior ROTC program, participating in today's ceremony was only part of the honor. She was humbled to meet some of the veterans who came out to participate.
"Meeting them, it's an honor and so is getting to thank them every time they walk by in the store or something," said Rabun.
"Getting to meet them, getting to thank them is an honor."
Quite the crowd braved this morning's cold snap for that very same reason. Some had family buried there. Others just wanted to thank the veterans who are still with us.
Penny Tate of Ocean Springs held her father's picture tight at this morning's ceremony and remembered the sacrifices he made during World War II.
"The community has really supported it as you can see today with the turnout," said Tate.
"We had I don't know how many people exactly, but it had to be a couple hundred people here today to help us with it."
Though her father was buried in Ohio back in 1999, Tate still felt his presence as she joined her fellow Americans in recognizing others just like him buried right here in South Mississippi.
"He always considered himself a Navy man, always. That was his identity. They deserve all the recognition they can get, and I think this wreath laying ceremony on this day is so important so that people remember these men who gave up so much for their country."