Hattiesburg pauses to remember

By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As the nations colors fly above, those who died defending them, are being remembered below.

"We'll never ever forget those men and women who stepped up to the plate and gave their all," said Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree.

Veterans park in downtown Hattiesburg was filled with sights and sounds of patriotism Monday morning in it's 27th year of folks stopping to not only thank a veteran, but remember what the holiday represents.

"The city of Hattiesburg and Forrest County is among the strongest military communities in the country," said Mississippi National Guard Major General Bill Freeman. "For many the true meaning and purpose of this solemn day has been long forgotten."

But for those in attendance, it's more than just a day away from the office, it's a day to reflect on freedom and what it costs.

As with every year the names of the fallen soldiers are read aloud, but this year the list got a little be longer. Two more names are now etched in stone, both of them constant reminders of extreme sacrifice.

"Doesn't seem real," said Anthony Blount's father, Billy Blount. "We're still kind of in shock with it."

Anthony Blount of petal and Anthony Magee of Hattiesburg were both killed overseas last month and Monday morning their mothers were honored as Gold Star Mothers, in loosing a child to war.

"In a way I don't have to worry anymore about where he's gone do, where he's at," said Anthony Blount's mother, Lori Blount. "e's not hurting anymore."

"It's up and down everyday," said Anthony Magee's mother, Patricia Davis, "We take it one day at a time. Because you know, when you loose a child it's just like loosing a piece of your heart."

"These two heroes fell while supporting operation Iraqi Freedom," said Freeman. "The legacy of their service and commitment will live on forever."

"I'm proud. I'm very proud, but I'm just still hurting so much," said Lori Blount.

"I walk about 6 inches taller, I'm proud of him," said Anthony Magee's father, Tony Davis. "He was my hero, he was my hero."

And now both of them heroes to millions of Americans.

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