Memorial honors families left behind to grieve heroes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Memorial honors families left behind to grieve heroes

This Gold Star Memorial, placed by the Ocean Springs Garden Club, is one of only two in the state. (Photo source: WLOX) This Gold Star Memorial, placed by the Ocean Springs Garden Club, is one of only two in the state. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

On Saturday, Ocean Springs honored the family members who were left behind to deal with the tragic loss of service men and women

It's taken a year for the day to come, and it was worth the wait for Mary Lee Terry and her family.

“It means that at least I always knew that what he did over there he was doing for America, and know that people feel as we feel,” Terry said.

She lost her son - Chester Terry, Jr. - after he was killed in Vietnam at the age of 21.

“By losing a first son, our family was broken,” Terry said. “But, we survived. We've got children, grandchildren, and all. So you learn to live with it, but you never forget it.”

About 100 gathered at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center to see the Ocean Springs Garden Club’s dedication to the newest of only two Gold Star markers in the state.

Family members placed roses at the memorial's base; their loved one's names attached to the side.

Emotions ran strong.

“It’s very emotional because no one should have to lose someone, but also, they know that their family died doing what they wanted to do, give back to God and country,” said Lynda Brokl, co-president of the Ocean Springs Garden Club. 

Emily Kolenda is the Gold Star Program Coordinator at the Seabee Base.

“I think it is a wonderful tribute to our families,” Kolenda said. “It gives them recognition that usually goes unappreciated, and sometimes unnoticed as to the sacrifice that they've given. It’s very emotional. It’s something that is bigger than us.”

Securing Gold Star Markers is a project of the National Garden Clubs. Only affiliated garden clubs may put up a Gold Star Marker in a community.

The only other marker in the state is in Greenville.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly