Natchez National Cemetery hosts Memorial Day service

Published 11:43 pm Sunday, May 28, 2017

Special to the democrat

NATCHEZ — The Natchez National Cemetery invites the public to attend this morning’s Memorial Day ceremony to remember and honor the men and women who gave their lives in military service to a grateful nation.

Services will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the pavilion located in the new part of the cemetery near the Mississippi River bluff.

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The cemetery is the culmination of the annual Memorial Day parade which starts in Vidalia. The route begins at the corner of North Magnolia and Alabama streets at 8 a.m. Monday. The parade march begins at 8:30 a.m. and will cross the Mississippi River Bridge before stopping to take a 30-minute break at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center. The parade will then continue to its destination, the cemetery arriving before the service.

The parade is noted as one of the oldest in the country, as organizers say the tradition goes back 151 years — first making the journey to the Natchez National Cemetery by ferry

“The America we know today would not be the same were it not for the men and women we honor on Memorial Day,” Assistant Director, Skip Solomon said.  “Through their spirit, adherence to duty, honor and their sacrifice, our Veterans paid for and delivered not only our freedom and security, but also the freedom for millions of our friends and allies around the world.”

Solomon said surviving family members, friends and citizens, young and old, are especially invited to remember and reflect on the achievements wrought by the sacrifice of American veterans.

“Let us never stop educating our youngsters about the price that has been paid for their freedom,” Solomon said. “A trip with them to one of our sacred shrines — our veterans’ cemeteries — is a good place to start.”