Biloxi Service Honors A Nation's Heroes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi Service Honors A Nation's Heroes

They answered the call to arms, then gave their lives for the sake of freedom. That sacrifice is remembered on Memorial Day. There were special observances across South Mississippi Monday to honor the war dead. Steve Phillips attended one of the largest gatherings at Biloxi National Cemetery.

Keynote speaker General Paul Capasso shared a quote from President John F. Kennedy. He said, "A nation reveals itself not only by the men and women it produces, but by the men and women it honors."

Monday's observances honor patriots and heroes. The solemn Memorial Day crowd gathered near rows of silent stones. Small American flags decorated thousands of graves for the special occasion.

Civil Air Patrol Chaplain Kenneth Stevens said, "We give you thanks for those, our comrades, who have laid down their lives in the service of our country."

For more than two centuries, untold numbers of Americans have answered the call to duty. The large crowd includes those who wore the uniform in conflicts gone by, along with those who still serve. They honor the commitment and sacrifice of soldiers who never returned from the battlefield.

"The America we know would not be the same were it not for the men and women we honor on Memorial Day," Amanda Rhodes with the Biloxi National Cemetery said.

"The greatest achievement in the United States of America in its 200 year history is that its people have remained free. The American flag has become the symbol of freedom and hope around the world," Keesler Commander General Paul Capasso said.

A new generation will take up the cause, defending freedom in the global war on terror, or in whatever conflicts may arise that threaten our cherished way of life. Those future warriors would do well to imitate the courage and sacrifice of those who've already answered that call.

"They have proven that freedom is the mightiest force on earth and a beacon of hope around the world," Gen. Capasso said.

Monday's crowd was one of the largest in recent years. The annual observance is organized and hosted by the Biloxi National Cemetery Memorial Committee.

by Steve Phillips 

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