Zion Chapel AME Church hosts Memorial Day Weekend service

Zion Chapel AME Church hosts Memorial Day Weekend service

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Memorial Day service at The Zion Chapel AME Church honored soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

The presentation of the colors, praying and worship music were all part of the service Sunday afternoon.

Navy Chaplain Aimee Davis put together this event and served for 28 years in the Navy. Davis will retire in August and become the church's new pastor.

"It's a call within a calling, a call to be able to serve people and to be able to see God glorified," Davis said.

The service also included a few words from Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree, and he stressed the importance of saying thank you to family members who lost loved ones at war.

"We don't need to let them be alone. We don't need to let them forget," Dupree said. "We don't need to let them carry those memories by themselves. We need to help them in that."

The program also recognized Alesia Stokes, the first African-American woman equipment operator in the Navy. She said Memorial Day weekend is important to her because she remembers her friends who lost their lives in the line of duty.

"You know I saw them one day and the next day I didn't see them and it really hit home as to what my job means and what I'm doing," Stokes said.

Stokes served in the Navy for 23 years and said deciding to join was the best decision she's ever made.

"I knew I wanted to serve this great nation and at that point I didn't care what it was, but me choosing to be an operator turned out totally different than I ever thought it would be," Stokes said.

With all the worship, praise and high spirits, you could tell that the people in the church were grateful to these women for making a sacrifice and commitment to the country.