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Mississippi Remembers its Fallen Soldiers

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 28 May 2012 07:52pm | comments
Rankin County War Memorial

A new war memorial bears the names of Rankin county soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the price of freedom. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports.

During  a somber Memorial Day ceremony Governor Phil Bryant began reading the names of 51 brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. After the reading the names Governor Bryant had words of praise for the slain soldiers.

"Most of them very young when they gave their lives. Some 19, 20 year olds in World War I and World War II that never got the joy of growing up of having families oftentimes. And so we've just got to continue to reflect on that loss and realize that this country is here because of their sacrifice."

Rankin County has erected a stone monument representing five of the most recent wars Americans have died fighting in.  Staff Sergeant David Self's name is etched on the column representing the War on Terror. Self served 10 years as an Army Officer before he was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan last May. While his father Eddie Self of Pearl still grieves his son’s death. He says he has deep concerns for those wounded soldiers returning home.

" There gonna need a lot of help you know jobs. I've been there in the military. They sacrifice a lot. You know David sacrificed all. I don't think nobody wins the war you know but it helps the nation and the freedom."

Mississippi's Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. served in the US Army from post Vietnam  to shortly after 911. He says through the years the rules of engagement have changed tremendously.

"From World I in the trench warfare to World War II, in Korea. And even Vietnam you could tell who the bad guys were and it was a clear delineation in the size and now the bad guys could be right here in Brandon Mississippi. Or they could be across the world. We're not innocent anymore."

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day when Southern women would place  flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers during the Civil War era. It became an official observance in 1868.

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Rankin County War Memorial


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