NCBC Gulfport honors fallen heroes with Bells Across America ceremony

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - It was an emotional service to remember fallen heroes on Thursday. The Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport was host to a Bells Across America ceremony.

During the observance, which was first held in September 2015, the names of 80 fallen heroes were read while a bell was rung in remembrance for each of them.

“It’s important to recognize the families and those that are left behind,” said Capt. Jeff Powell, NCBC Commander. “It’s a very dangerous position we’re in, and sometimes, we’re called upon to make that ultimate sacrifice. And I’ll tell you when ‘Taps’ is playing and I’m saluting, I’m looking at those families. It’s hard to keep a dry eye when you think about what they’ve gone through.”

The event is coordinated by the Navy Gold Star Program, which provides long-term support to surviving families of fallen military personnel.

About 500 visitors and active service members attended.

“It makes me proud to know that none of us is forgotten,” said Margaret Levens, mother of Staff Sgt. Donnie Levens, who was killed on Feb. 17, 2006. “Donny wanted to dedicate his life to the military and it was just cut short. And that’s out of our hands, but it’s what happens. And he knew the consequences and so did I.”

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