More Than A Thousand Volunteers Place Flags At Biloxi National Cemetery - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/28/05

More Than A Thousand Volunteers Place Flags At Biloxi National Cemetery

You find all types among the more than a thousand people who volunteered for duty at the 2005 Flag Placement Ceremony the Biloxi National Cemetery.

"It has been miraculous," says Cemetery Director Amanda Rhodes. "So many people come out. Family members, boy scout groups, military, community, everyone wants to get involved in this process."

"I want to be the one to put the flag on my daddy's grave," says Lanita Rodgers of Lucedale.

Among the crowds are people like Lanita, who hasn't seen her father James Martin's grave since he passed away in 1997.

"This is the first time I've been out here because it's just been too hard," says Rodgers with tears welling in her eyes.

This year however her sorrow is overcome by her determination to honor the Air Force Veteran memory.

"He didn't get to see me get married. He didn't get to see his grand kids, so this will be the first time I'll bring my kids out here, so it just means everything."

For the Bourgeois brothers, here to visit their baby brother Bruce's grave the children's active participation is a heartening scene.

"What's wonderful about it is seeing the children doing the physical part of putting the flags out and this will be memorable for them all their lives," says Jack Bourgeois.

It's the kind of memorable impression Lanita hopes will become a family tradition in her young family.

"I hope it does, says Lanita. "I hope they keep coming when I'm gone because I'll be out here when I go."

By Don Culpepper

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