‘Those kind of men aren’t born every day’

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 29, 2000

World War II veteran and former POW Robert Mims Sr. fought back tears Monday, while speaking at the Natchez’s Memorial Day Celebration.

Mims said he was there to tell why the American servicemen fought.

He also referred to the 50th anniversary of the Korean War — a conflict that he said is often called the &uot;forgotten war&uot;

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&uot;There is no such thing as the forgotten war,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;All wars are the same.&uot;

To celebrate the first Memorial Day of the new millennium, Mims and other Miss-Lou residents held a parade and a &uot;Remembering the Fallen&uot; service at the Natchez National Cemetery.

Mims said the crowd should think about the great paradoxes of American soldiers.

They were Americans who spent long years in foreign lands away from (America’s) shores and they wanted freedom but fought, he said.

&uot;They valued life and so bravely readied themselves to die in the service of our country,&uot; Mims said.

And America’s 42 million veterans did not fight because they believed war was good but &uot;for the prize of freedom,&uot; he said.

Monday’s service also included prayer and spiritual and patriotic music.

Elnora Riley said she was thankful for Jesus Christ and for the day.

&uot;We will rejoice and be glad in it, she said. &uot;I’m happy today. Thank God for Jesus again.&uot;

She then introduced a group of children who sang songs during the service.

Other music included a dramatic performance of &uot;Arise My Love&uot; by performers with the Salvation Army. Charles Rounds also performed.

Natchez resident, Cleotha Marsaw said he thinks the veterans died to conserve America’s beauty.

The veterans were men that were &uot;bold enough to defend the country and the people in it (and) humble enough to serve their government and faithful enough to die for a worthy cause,&uot; Marsaw said. &uot;Those kind of men aren’t born every day.&uot;

In closing his speech, Mims said the heart of America is freedom but &uot;only fools would elect&uot;&160;to forget the lessons of history and America’s veterans.

&uot;The payment for forgetfulness is dear,&uot; he said.