City, park honor those who served

Published 11:10 am Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Vicksburg natives and brothers Jeffery and Freddie Amos watched the Memorial Day Parade with appreciation for the hard work this nation’s soldiers have done.

“Our soldiers have fought really hard to earn the respect that they deserve. They fought for all of us to be able to come out here and celebrate freely,” said Jeffery, who served in the Vietnam War.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The small number of people who showed up surprised Freddie. He stressed that more citizens should get involved with activities that honor soldiers.

“More people should support and honor our soldiers by participating in these type of events. The soldiers have done a lot for our country and should receive more love from the people,” said Freddie, who also served in the Vietnam War.

The Amos brothers were among about 300 people who saluted our armed forces at Monday’s Memorial Day Parade. Spectators watched as some of today’s soldiers, City and County officials, law enforcement and the fire department rode down Washington Street waiving the American Flag in honor of our troops.

Vicksburg natives Tommy and Jennifer King enjoyed seeing those who gave up their day off to contribute to the parade.

“The parade was really good. It was nice to see all of the people who were involved in this event,” said Jennifer.

“Even though it was a small crowd, I’m glad that someone came out to support all of the work our soldiers have done for us to keep our freedom,” said Larry.

Dallas natives and couple James and Wanda Ward were happy to get out and show their patriotism.

“This is great. We should take advantage of every opportunity we get to honor our current and past soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Wanda, who served four years of active duty in Operation Provide Comfort after the first Gulf War.

“It feels great to get out and support our veterans,” said James.

Lacey Sims of Vicksburg was thankful for the price our soldiers paid for us to live freely.

“People died for us to get out and celebrate. Because of them, we have the right to do whatever we want to do. I think people should appreciate the soldiers more,” said Sims.

Following the parade, the 35th annual Memorial Day Activities kicked off at the Vicksburg City Auditorium. Brig. Gen. David Weeks was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

In March of 2009, Weeks assumed command of the 411th Engineer Brigade in New Windson, New York and later deployed to Afghanistan with the headquarters in April 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In May of 2013, Weeks assumed responsibilities as the Deputy Commanding General of the 416th Theater Engineer Command.

Weeks, who is a Louisiana native, gave credit all of the brave men and women who have taken a stand for their country.

“By taking the Army oath and standing by it, it exemplifies why they do what they do everyday. They defend a principle that makes this country great. They stand as patriots who represent all of us. They stand for freedom, truth and justice,” said Weeks.

Weeks gave an explanation as to why a soldier would fight and risk his or her life for the country.

“We fight because we believe. We don’t believe that war is good, but sometimes it is necessary. Our soldiers fight for the price of freedom.”

Weeks pointed out how citizens should honor those who are currently serving in the military along with those who served in the past.

“Lets not only look at our past, but let’s look at our future as well. American sons and daughters are still standing on the edge of freedom. We are relying on them to protect that freedom that we value so much.”

Monday’s events concluded at the Vicksburg National Military Park with a wreath-laying ceremony to pay homage those soldiers who gave their lives in the fight to protect our country.

State Sen. Briggs Hopson felt privileged to pay his respect to the fallen soldiers.

“Of all the things we as elected officials can do, there is nothing that gives me more honor than to say thank you to those who have served our country with honor and dignity,” said Hopson.

Hopson said that American citizens should be thankful for what our soldiers have done for us.

“Sometimes while walking in the park, I have those moments where I pause to look around at the graves of those who fought for a cause. We shouldn’t take our freedom and this great country that we live in for granted.”