Miss-Lou observes Memorial Day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 30, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; A small but vibrant group of Natchez and Vidalia dignitaries, veterans and their family members gathered in the Natchez Convention Center to celebrate and honor U.S. veterans and soldiers on Memorial Day.

The message was one of remembrance for those who fought and died for the freedoms of America.

This message was delivered in the form of patriotic songs and poems by Vidalia and Natchez youth groups, proclamations by the mayors of both cities and Adams County Supervisor Darryl Grennell and a stirring address by the director of state cemetery grants and services, G. William Jayne.

Email newsletter signup

In his address, Jayne stressed the importance of Americans&8217; observance of Memorial Day.

&8220;What we do here today is an essential tradition,&8221; Jayne said. &8220;Our unity in this huge, diverse and noisy democracy is fragile and neither this unity nor our freedom is guaranteed forever.&8221;

Jayne also recalled on the memory of his father, who saw his enlistment in the Navy in World War II as a job to preserve the freedoms of America that were at risk at the time.

Jayne also spoke of a 19-year-old Marine who was in his batallion during the Vietnam War named Joe Roble.

Roble, Jayne said, was fighting because he believed that the people in Vietnam should have the same freedoms that he enjoyed in America.

At the closing of his address, Jayne paid tribute and expressed the importance of the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

&8220;At this crucial time of testing, we must face up to the task at hand&8212;the defeat of terrorism,&8221; Jayne said. &8220;We must do it with the stoic pride and sense of purpose shown by World War II veterans, like my father, and with the idealism of Vietnam veterans like my comrade Joe Roble.&8221;

After the program some participants and other citizens of Natchez went to the cemetery to pay their respects to fellow soldiers and their loved ones who served in the military.

Earl Gordon and his son came to visit the site of Earl&8217;s father, Foster M. Gordon Jr., who served in the Army in Germany in 1951.

&8220;Every time I come here, I&8217;m reminded that my freedom came with a price,&8221; Gordon said. &8220;And when I look out across this hallowed ground, I can see that price.&8221;