Meridian, Miss. Memorial Day has always been on the hearts of many as a holiday that remembers those who defended this country so that we may live the American dream. In honor of every soldier that has given his or her life, the city of Meridian held its annual Memorial Day Service on the steps of the Lauderdale County Courthouse. Each and every person in attendance had a reason for why this holiday means so much to them.
"Memorial Day means that all of those who went in front of us and did not survive and gave all," said Jack Williams of Commander Post 21. "We can't replace them; they're gone forever and the reason they are gone is, we are walking free today."
"Memorial Day is a time to remember the soldiers, men, and women who left our country to defend freedom," said Historian of the T.C. Carter Post 21 Ward Calhoun.
As names were called of those from Lauderdale County who sacrificed their life for this country, friends and family members walked to the memorial marker and placed "Buddy" Poppies in remembrance of them, followed by the Ladies Auxiliary laying wreaths on the memorial. Many in attendance say, the memorial was a heartfelt moment, but it saddens them that the younger generation seems to have lost sight.
"No greater love can any man exemplify than to lay down his life for you and we're losing this to our young people," said Algie Davis, whom many consider to be "Meridian's "Most Patriotic Man". "It's not being taught in our schools, so our young people don't know anything about what we're doing here today."
Although many say the outcome for this year's event was bigger than last year, they still feel the significance of the holiday is slowly being lost. Several in attendance say it all goes back to the classroom and that teachers need to teach the importance of why we celebrate a day that is in the hearts of so many.
"It needs to be taught in school," said Davis. "It should be a requirement that every history teacher, government teacher, teach what Memorial Day stands for and why we have Memorial Day."
The reason we always celebrate this day can be seen by so many who stand at attention and remember the lives of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.