CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby paid special tribute Saturday to our nation's fallen soldiers. Dozens of people gathered at the post for the 3rd annual, "Laying of the Wreaths" ceremony.
Wreaths were laid at 11 monuments which lined a walkway on the museum grounds. The monuments honored many of the units that have trained at Camp Shelby since World War I.
"We put them there so we can remember all of the soldiers and other service personnel that have come through Camp Shelby over the years and all that they've done for our country," said Chad Daniels, director of the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum.
Among the soldiers attending were veterans of previous wars and troops who were training for duty. Both the young and old soldiers said it was important to remember our fallen heroes this weekend.
"They made the sacrifice to defend this country," said Jack Kilcrease, 7th District Commander of the American Legion. "We wouldn't have the freedom that we have if it hadn't been for the veterans," Kilcrease said.
"It's a sad day, because people don't realize what Memorial Day really means," said Conrad Adams, a World War II veteran. "It means that (the holiday is for) those no longer here or passed away," Adams said.
One young soldier in the Mississippi Army National Guard's 155th Brigade Combat Team also spoke about the holiday. "(I'm) reflecting on all the soldiers that we lost and all the soldiers that are fighting over in Iraq right now," said Specialist Vernell Brown of Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Specialist Brown is one of about 3,500 soliders in the 155th Brigade Combat Team who are training at Camp Shelby for a 10-month deployment to Iraq.
Another soldier in the 155th Brigade Combat Team is hoping one day to attend another Laying of the Wreaths ceremony. "I'm proud to be here," said Specialist Lialfred Love of Rosedale, Mississippi.
"I'm proud to be a soldier and hopefully, I'll be here again, once again to commemorate and look back on the fallen soldiers and the ones who've made it back home and be one of the guys that makes it back home," Love said.