BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Memorial Day service at the Biloxi VA was a powerful, moving, somber, even uplifting moment.
The names of the fallen from the past year were read. Taps is played in their honor, a way to never forget the sacrifice of so many.
A prayer reinforced the memories will last forever for Colonel C. Mike Smith of Keesler Air Force Base. "My father served in Vietnam. Then to go to Afghanistan and serve along my warriors, my wing men, and lose some of them, it makes it extremely personal," he reflected.
Even the young know what's really important about this day. One of them is Hannah Bates. "My dad is in the military and we're lucky we have him and it's just a big deal to us. These people fought for us and they fought for our freedom."
Governor Phil Bryant was the guest speaker for the day's event. He elaborated on the feelings that compelled him to be there and bring a special message about what Memorial Day is really all about. He spoke on the pain and the sacrifice. "A young lady was killed in a training accident. Left a young son behind. And I had to call her Mom and talk to her about how the service to her nation was so important. How her daughter had not died in vain but could live in our memories," the governor said.
In the national cemetery, volunteers straighten more than 20,000 American flags.
One of them is Chad Seymour. "My father is buried out here, my grandfather is buried here. And it just feels like a good time to come out and volunteer your time to do something bigger than yourself and to show that we have not forgotten."
Veteran Tim Ozmun hasn't forgotten. He's lived it first-hand. "I know exactly the sacrifices that everyone buried here has made. Some, just their entire life or the time they spent in their service and others with their lives. So it's very important."
Of that, there is no doubt.
About 200 people attended today's service, which was moved indoors because of the chance of rain.