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Hattiesburg museum honors fallen heros, celebrates 5th anniversary

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A World War Two-era telephone switchboard is the newest exhibit at the African-American Military History Museum. A World War Two-era telephone switchboard is the newest exhibit at the African-American Military History Museum.
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The staff of the African-American Military History Museum honored our nation's fallen heroes Friday, while celebrating the museum's 5th birthday. A Memorial Day event honored three Hattiesburg servicemen who were killed in action.  They were SP4 Elijah W. Burkett, who was killed in Vietnam in 1969, CPL Melvin S. Lamar, who was also killed in Vietnam in 1968 and Sgt. Anthony O. Magee, who died in Iraq in 2010. 

Their families were also recognized for their sacrifice.

The museum was originally built as a USO for black soldiers in World War Two and was converted into a museum in 2009. It was closed for a year because of tornado damage.

"It's very rewarding to be here today, especially to celebrate our 5th year anniversary and to have so many people from the community come out and show support," said Latoya Norman, museum manager for the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. "Memorial Day is a very important time to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice," she said.

"It was very important to see this from the City of Hattiesburg," said Dominique Magee, brother of Anthony Magee. "It just makes us feel really appreciated because we lost something and Hattiesburg has done what it can to show us that they won't forget," he said.

The museum also unveiled a new exhibit today.  It was a World War Two-era telephone switchboard, which was found in Natchez.

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