GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Across South Mississippi there were several celebrations Tuesday honoring our local heroes for their sacrifice and service. In Gautier, with the help of the American Legion Post 1992, the city held a wreath laying ceremony. It was a day of gratitude and remembrance.
"A veteran is an American who is willing to lay down their life," Gautier Mayor Gordon Gollott said.
"Without veterans, America would not be America," veteran Bill Whatley said.
More than 100 servicemen and women gathered around the city's Veterans Tribute Tower to be honored. From patriotic songs to special prayers, the Gautier community thanked our country's heroes for their bravery in battle and their commitment to defend us from our enemies on foreign soil.
Senator Brice Wiggins was the keynote speaker. He told the crowd a veteran is a true symbol of sacrifice and a reflection of American history and dedication that should never be forgotten.
"The faces that I see here today are the canvas in which America has witnessed history. The blood that you and comrades shed is the paint on that canvas. A masterpiece that has stood the test of time worthy of hanging on a wall of the greatest museum," said Senator Wiggins.
Those who served proudly said they were honored to hear so many people expressing gratitude for a job well done.
"Because we are all brothers and we cannot forget. This means a lot to all of us and I am so happy to be here to represent our post," Gulfport veteran Dan Rasmussen said.
The hope is that this love and support will continue for veterans every day of the year.
"We do have a lot of homeless veterans out there, and we have veterans who go hungry every day. They need our help," Whatley said.
"Veterans mean so much of a commitment in the preservation of our history and sometimes we are taken for granted. So it's always good to have events like this to bring to the forefront sacrifices our veterans have made," Veteran Abe Sherrod said.
This is the second year Gautier has held a wreath laying ceremony to honor past and present veterans.