Hundreds Honor Fallen Heroes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hundreds Honor Fallen Heroes

Biloxi National Cemetery provided a poignant backdrop for one of the coast's largest Memorial Day observances.

Several hundred people paused to remember men and women who gave their lives in defense of freedom. The featured speaker spoke of their "selfless service" and "spirit of resolve".

Americans paused to remember fallen service members. The annual Memorial Day observance at Biloxi National Cemetery attracted a crowd of young and old.

"We have not and will never forget those who have served in our country to ensure freedom," said the chaplain, as he started the patriotic service.

General Michael Gould, the Second Air Force Commander was the keynote speaker.

"Today is a day we celebrate these true American heros. Today we recognize the men and women of our armed forces, as well as their brave predecessors," he told those gathered.

Thousands of flag decorated graves nearby offered unspoken significane. Many of the fallen fought alongside those who survived battles past.

Ernest Brant is a Purple Heart recipient.

"I fought in Korea and I fought in Vietnam. And during that period you fight, you lose people. You don't ever forget them. Never. Not one day of your life," he emphasized.

"The example of sacrifice that our founding fathers set has continued for 230 years. And that spirit is alive and well today in our nation's armed forces," said Gen. Gould.

Tears flowed as Gina McKnight recalled that spirit in her 24 year old brother. Marine Lance Corporal Roger Deeds was killed in Iraq, trying to save someone else.

"He had two small children and a very special wife he left behind. And was killed in combat, November 16th, 2005," said Gina McKnight. The coast resident fondly remembered her fallen brother. "Before he was a soldier, he was a son and he was a brother, he was a father and he loved children. And I don't want anyone to forget what this war is for," she said.

"They come with a spirit of resolve and readiness," said General Gould, "ready to meet any challenge or adversary."

By Steve Phillips

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