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Small, private Memorial Day commemorations held at Biloxi National Cemetery

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - COVID-19 concerns forced the Biloxi National Cemetery to cancel its annual flag placement event for the second year in a row, however, people still went out today and honored those who served.

As we get closer to Memorial Day, John Grower Assistant to Biloxi National Cemetery Memorial Day Committee, wants people to remember a phrase throughout the weekend.

“They say that all gave some and some gave all, and we are here for those that are honored here,” Grower said. “We have a lot of respect for our fallen.”

The Biloxi National Cemetery is the final resting place for thousands who gave their lives for our country. And for Memorial Day, organizers typically hold public ceremonies, like placing American flags by each grave.

However, for the second year in a row, COVID-19 canceled the event.

“It’s disappointing but understandable where we know that we don’t know who has received shots and who hasn’t,” said James Corley, chair for the Biloxi National Cemetery Memorial Day Service. “We just have to abide by what we know is right, and we’re disappointed, but we’re still going to carry on honoring our veterans.”

However, that didn’t stop people from spending their morning with lost loved ones, placing their own flowers and flags next to graves.

“That’s a family, personal thing that’s very beautiful,” Grower said.

While only a handful of people came out to honor their loved ones this year, they all took time to say thanks to everyone who has served. Cemetery leaders were happy that people held their own commemorations this year, but plan for bigger, public events in 2022.

“This is a lot of work getting the flags out. It’s all good and we’ll get back on track,” Grower said.

For now, organizers hope that people remember to the true reason for Memorial Day.

The cemetery’s annual Memorial Day service will also be closed to the public. During the service, the names of Mississippi’s service members killed in action overseas since 2001 will be read one by one.

“Just pray for my heroes,” Grower said.

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