Family Reflections At Biloxi National Cemetery - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/27/05

Family Reflections At Biloxi National Cemetery

Beauty and serenity embrace the Biloxi National Cemetery. Even the sounds of visitors can't break the solemn ambiance, where 14,500 veterans and military family members are buried.

This is where you often find Luverne Freeman, lovingly tending to her husband's grave.

"My husband, Donald Freeman, he was in the Navy for over 30 years. The kids, I think, sometimes come out here and they talk to their daddy about their problems. But I don't do that. I don't really have any that God and I together can't handle."

Isaac Symes is another frequent visitor.

"This is a very hallowed place. I take my hat off when I come in the drive at the entrance up there out of respect for the 14,500 people that are buried here. All of them were willing to give their lives for this country, and for what this country stands for and the world."

Symes pointed to his wife's grave and said, "I've kept fresh flowers on this grave everyday for two and a half years."

He makes the hour and a half drive from Alabama every week to find comfort and grieve over the loss of his wife of 61 years.

"This is where I come to unload that anger to the Lord, and I talk with the Lord, as well as to her. I also sing a little song."

Symes recited a poem and sang "Beyond the sunset, oh glad reunion with our dear loved ones, who've gone before."

Nearby, family members and friends gathered to bid farewell to Army veteran Clarence Brown.

They prayed "He is now there at your side. He lives forever."

Their life is gone, but their memory will never fade from this place, where our nation's patriots have lasting peace and honor.

The Biloxi National Cemetery will be the site of an annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday. The service begins at 9:30 AM near the large monument on the cemetery grounds.

by Trang Pham-Bui

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