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Mississippi Remembers the Fallen on Memorial Day

By Daniel Cherry | Published 30 May 2011 04:25pm | comments

Since the War on Terror began more than 70 Mississippians have died while serving in the armed forces. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on how communities spent Memorial Day remembering the fallen.

Towns across Mississippi gathered to give thanks to those soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their country.
In Brandon residents packed into the courthouse for a Memorial Day ceremony. Three soldiers from Rankin County have died in the line of duty since May of last year. Philip Clark died in Afghanistan. His aunt Andrea Lloyd says the show of support is bittersweet.

"We are very proud of Philip for the sacrifices that he made, but it is also a very hard day. We miss him greatly, and it has been a year. He was killed on May 18th and it doesn't get any easier."

In the past two months two soldiers from Brandon and Pearl were killed. Billy Henderson, with the Marine Corps League came out to Brandon to pay his respects. It's something he says he's glad to do since he wasn't treated as kindly when he was a Marine.

"Mississippi has always supported our military. The rest of the country...not always. Look at Vietnam. You didn't get a welcome home then. Now us that were in that period of time, when we see one another we always say, 'Welcome home brother.'"

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker took part in the ceremony. He says even with bin Laden dead, he doesn't see a rush to pull troops back home. Until that time comes he expects Mississippians to continue to answer the call.

"Historically Mississippians have been among the most patriotic and the most unselfish in terms of stepping forward and serving their nation. So I expect we're going to continue in that tradition as long as we're threatened, and it seems that may be as long as time itself."

In the past year, 7 Mississippi soldiers have died while serving.

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