HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The 32nd annual Veterans Memorial Day Service was held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Downtown Hattiesburg.
Despite dark rain clouds and roars of thunder, a large crowd gathered to pay their respects to fallen soldiers while watching service members honor their own.
"Rain, sleet, shine, it doesn't matter; we'll be out here for them," said Joshua Napper, S Sgt. NCO 154th. "Makes me feel awesome because of all the support that we have still, despite what's going on in the world today."
The ceremony featured several events, including the Posting of Service Flags by each branch of the military, the reading of the Honor Roll, individually listing 173 fallen Veterans of the Service, and Laying of the Wreaths in honor of those who sacrificed their lives while defending our nation.
"We should never forget those who have paid the ultimate price," said Mayor Johnny DuPree. "Whether they are police officers or military people; men, women it doesn't really matter. This has been a long two weeks for us here in Hattiesburg, but we still don't forget that our military is one of the reasons we're able to observe the freedoms and liberties that we observe here in America and in Mississippi," said Napper. "I'd like to say it's a culmination of us doing things right here in Hattiesburg by honoring those who honor us with their life."
After several moving songs, including "God Bless America" and "Amazing Grace," the Maneuver and Training Equipment Support of Camp Shelby fired off the 21 Gun Salute.
"It makes me feel honored; my grandfather was a Korean War Veteran, another grandfather who was in WWII, an uncle in Vietnam so it helps to commemorate them," Napper said. "It makes me feel honored for all the Veterans; everyone that we've lost."
A reception was held immediately following the service at the VFW Post 3036.