HATTIESBURG, MS - (WDAM) Veterans, loved ones, and proud locals sat under Old Glory Monday to honor the ones who've fallen. The Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Hattiesburg hosted its annual Memorial Day celebration, and for Kay Blount and Tony Davis it's a painful, but proud reminder of the sacrifice their sons made. Anthony Blount of petal and Anthony Magee of Hattiesburg were killed overseas just over a year ago.
Blount said, "Every time we go to a service like this, it's like a reopening of the wound. But our hearts are so big and swelled, and we're so proud of Anthony and all the soldiers that gave their lives, but it's been hard."
Davis said, "Its a great thing, it's an honor, I'm proud of him. I'd like to have him back, but I'm definitely proud of what he did."
One bell rang and a 21 gun salute was fired for the 173 Pine Belt soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Each of the armed forces, and all walks of life remembered, honored, and celebrated the lives of the fallen.
Blount said, "It just keeps his spirit alive, and I know he's looking down and he's honored as well at the way the people have honored all of the soldiers."
Although the ceremony won't bring them home, it's a time for their families to reflect, and watch a community come together in support of our troops this memorial day.
One Veteran at the ceremony, Jack Mills, said, "The heroes are here. The heroes are the ones that don't come back. This is the reason you go out and do what you're gonna do."