Hundreds attend Biloxi Memorial Day service - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hundreds attend Biloxi Memorial Day service

The Memorial Day ceremony usually held on the grounds of the Biloxi National Cemetery was moved indoors because of the threat of rain Monday. (Photo source: WLOX) The Memorial Day ceremony usually held on the grounds of the Biloxi National Cemetery was moved indoors because of the threat of rain Monday. (Photo source: WLOX)
Even rain couldn't stop more than 200 people from gathering in Biloxi to honor America's war dead. (Photo source: WLOX) Even rain couldn't stop more than 200 people from gathering in Biloxi to honor America's war dead. (Photo source: WLOX)
The keynote address was given by Major General Robert LaBrutta, the commander of the second Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base. (Photo source: WLOX) The keynote address was given by Major General Robert LaBrutta, the commander of the second Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

In Biloxi Monday, there was a fitting tribute to the country's fighting men and women. Hundreds came to offer respect, praise, and prayers for those Americans who gave up the most precious gift of all: their lives. 

The names of those recently killed in action were read aloud as a stark reminder of the true cost of war. Our freedom is not free. 

Ann Brewer was there with her great-grandson, Myles.

"I want him to know what America is like and how important it is to be in the military. Hopefully, he'll be in the military one day," Brewer said.

For many, like Kaye Smith, this is an annual tradition.

"I've been doing this for almost 27 years. I think it's really important. It means a lot to me for them to have this service out here," Smith said. 

The director of Biloxi's National Cemetery, Celethia Reed, said the service is held each year, "To honor their service and sacrifice. In short, our presence here is also our pledge. You will not be forgotten."

The fighting men and women who have died serving did so to live up to a most important calling, according to Major General Robert LaBrutta, the 2nd Air Force Commander. 

"Service before self. This noble declaration is what's it's all about today. And it's why these incredible service members sacrificed so much," LaBrutta told the crowd.

"In this area, a lot of people honor the military because there's a lot of military in this area.  And they do that because they see them all the time," veteran Finas Belk explained. 

The crowd joins in on a favorite song of praise, "God Bless America."

Then, the final reminder about the lives lost for the rest of us with the playing of Taps. 

The service was moved indoors because of the threat of rain.  Despite that, more than 200 people attended.

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