On this Memorial Day, state leaders, supporters and family members of veterans gathered in Newton County for a special dedication. Mississippi now has its first cemetery devoted to veterans.
More than 250 people gathered at the site donated by Mississippi State University. The site was selected for the cemetery project in March, 2007 and construction began in 2009.
It is being called the Arlington Cemetery of Mississippi for those who serve their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Senator Roger Wicker said, "We dedicate this field in memory of those who've gone before, and we pledge ourselves to keep faith with those who've gone before and those who've died."
"Just want to say thank you to Mississippi State University for the dedication of this property and thanks to the State Veterans Board for what they did in getting this thing organized and put together and raising the money, the state, the federal, and the local funds to make this possible," said Mississippi Adjutant General William Freeman.
"Of course it's a way of honoring our veterans and we're so very proud," said Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant. "This cemetery will last for hundreds of years as we reflect on those who rest here in Newton, Mississippi and it's so important for people to realize you look at the National, like Arlington National Cemetery, and we now have this. It is the Arlington Cemetery of Mississippi here in Newton County."
Senator Terry Burton of Newton County said, "It all fell together through Friends of Mississippi Veterans, the Veterans Affairs Board, state and local governments, everybody, and the federal government of course worked together to put this piece of property together as a place of repose, a place of -- a final resting place for those who have served their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice."
On the site is also a memorial wall dedicated to Mississippi veterans who died in the Gulf War.
Interments at the new site will begin July 5th.
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