Gulfport remembers fallen heroes, Gold Star families - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport remembers fallen heroes, Gold Star families

Military veterans gather at Barksdale Pavilion in Gulfport for a Memorial Day service (Photo Source: WLOX News Now) Military veterans gather at Barksdale Pavilion in Gulfport for a Memorial Day service (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Emotion and reverence were the themes at Gulfport's Memorial Day Ceremony Monday morning. Those attending the ceremony in Jones Park shared a common respect, admiration, and appreciation for the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Leaders from the VFW and the city of Gulfport brought both military and civilians together with to remember the fallen. One particular group of family members received special recognition during the ceremony.
    
Gold Star Families were saluted for the sacrifice of their siblings, children, spouses, and parents.

Loretta Burns Knighten lost her daughter, Captain Tiffany Q. Burns in 2004. She was in the Army.

"This memorial and also the honor of being the mother of a Gold Star Family. I can't explain it in words," said Knighten.

Another family honored was the family of Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Donnie Levens. His mother, Margaret Levens, said ceremonies like this bring comfort to her after Donnie's death in 2006.

Ever since Donnie's passing, Levens has held onto the comfort of remembering his life. 
"He's wanted to fly since he was eight, he went down flying, and he's still flying with a different set of wings, so he's good," said Levens.

More than 100 other fallen Mississippians were honored during the program. Levens said it's heartwarming to know there are people who care, and not just for her son. 

"It just makes me feel good to know that everyone's remembering what all of these people have sacrificed and what we have gone through and what we have sacrificed," said Levens.

Some of the Gold Star Families said, no matter how many of these ceremonies they attend, it never gets easier.

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