CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - Soldiers, military retirees and families of fallen soldiers gathered at Camp Shelby Thursday to remember the men and women who've died while serving the nation in our armed forces. The 8th annual "Laying of the Wreaths" at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum gave soldiers and civilians alike an opportunity to honor the nation's war dead for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.
During the ceremony, wreaths were placed at more than one dozen monuments on the museum grounds. They represent many of the units that have trained at Camp Shelby since it first opened in 1917.
And since that year, more than 40,000 soldiers who've trained at Camp Shelby have died in combat.
"It makes me feel sad because I lost so many of my friends and comrades and wish they could be here with their families, but since they're not, we do the best we can do serve them," said James Irby, a Vietnam War veteran who was a member of a detail which placed a wreath at one of the monuments.
"For me, it's a day, a weekend of remembering those that came before me and gave me the things that I have and then how can I pay it forward," said Col. Paul Kreis, commanding officer of the 158th Infantry Brigade at Camp Shelby. Kreis was also part of a detail which placed a wreath on a monument.
Wreaths were placed on 16 mouments during the ceremony.