BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Across the nation, Americans took the time to pay respect to those who have fought and died to preserve the freedoms we enjoy. One of those Memorial Day ceremonies took place at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2434 in Biloxi. VFW members said there is a special bond among veterans no matter when or where they served.
It's been more than 70 years since Frances G. Ward first played Taps in tribute to fallen servicemen. The retired sailor picked up the bagpipes some 50 years ago.
"It's a duty to perform for the people who have given their lives and have passed on," said Ward. "I just feel an honor to be able to do that. Especially for the veterans because I've served, my father served, and his father before him."
When VFW Post 2434 moved into its new building on Veterans Avenue, members wanted to hold the post's first ever Memorial Day ceremony.
"It's to honor the guys who lost their lives and the guys who were wounded in all the different battles that we've done. Regardless of the military branch or the conflict," veteran George Glazier said.
Veterans said for those who've been in combat there is a bond that few others can understand.
"One thing we have in common is, you know, is at 18 years old we wrote a will and were willing to sacrifice that," said veteran Carlos Diaz. "That's a bond no matter if you're 80 years old or 21 years old. Whatever the age or the conflict you were in, we all have that camaraderie and that brotherhood."
Incoming VFW Commander James Corley said a service member recently returned from combat can find much common ground with someone who served in a war zone half a century ago.
"You go into a new environment where you're going to say, 'Wow. This is for real.'" said Corley. "These people want to kill you. They want to do away with the American ideals. From World Wars, to Korea, to Vietnam, to the different skirmishes that we've had through the world, it's the ideal of fighting against tyranny and against people who would love to do away with the American way of life."
After the ceremony the VFW served lunch for veterans, their families as well as community members.