HATTIESBURG, MS. - The city of Hattiesburg held its 34th Annual Veterans Memorial Day Service downtown Monday morning.
The ceremony was held at the Veterans Memorial Park and highlights the military members that have died and fought for our country.
Mayor Johnny DuPree said, “The reason we enjoy the benefits of being an American is because people volunteered or drafted and took the ultimate sacrifice.”
Camp Shelby's Museum Director and ceremony's guest speaker, Chad Daniels said 30,000 men and women who trained at Camp Shelby since WWI have died serving the United States.
“Veterans day is to honor everyone who has served. Memorial Day is for those that lost their lives during their service overseas in particular" Daniels said.
He continued, "The difference there is that people lost their lives here. I always have to remind people that there are two different holidays because they have two different meanings.”
During the ceremony officials honored each branch of the military and rang a bell for every service member from Hattiesburg who died in combat. The Hattiesburg Police Department also performed a 21 gun salute.
Two veterans told FOX 23 said Memorial Day is a day to respect and memorialize the fallen and their families.
Charles Phillips said, “It is a blessing to honor all our veterans that are living and all those that have sacrificed the ultimate, paying their life, to make it possible for all Mississippians and Hattiesburg today."
"It just means everything because today is a special day, people that lost their lives in the wars, in World War 1, and all the wars until today, you know we are still losing men" said Howell Purvis.