HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Memorial Day is a national holiday that remembers those who have died while serving in the military. Hattiesburg has 173 men and women that were commemorated this morning.
With the flag at half staff, a silver bell rung 173 times for every fallen service member in the Hattiesburg area. One bell rung for 29-year-old, Anthony O. Magee. He left behind 2 kids and a family that loved him dearly while serving in Iraq.
"Anthony did what he did out of love for his country," said his father, Tony Davis. "Believe me, he is well loved by family and missed."
Anthony is one of more than 1 million soldiers that will be remembered on Memorial Day. The holiday started in 1868 as "Decoration Day" and was observed the last Monday in May with the belief that flowers would be in bloom all over the country at this time. Today, the red poppy is recognized as the symbol of remembrance. Many veterans wore a red poppy at the ceremony.
The 34th annual Veterans Memorial Day Service ended with a PCS' pipe band march, a 21 guns salute by the Hattiesburg Police Department's Color Guard and the playing of "Taps Bugle."
"It's very important that people do remember our veterans who gave it all and gave the ultimate sacrifice," said Davis.