A "Forgotten Hero Service" was held Friday, June 5, at Biloxi National Cemetery for a veteran with no known relatives. As a member of The American Legion, Sons of The American Legion and Patriot Guard, this funeral was different than the several forgotten hero services that I have attended this past year. Present were the normally assembled active-duty personnel, Patriot Guard and Legion members but a full complement of the Keesler Honor Guard was also present.
This time there was a six-member flag barrier honor guard that also performed a rifle salute and a bugler played taps. It was very impressive and the airmen were precision tuned to every step. It reminded me of Arlington Cemetery where two months ago I buried my brother. These fine men of Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, reminded me of "The Old Guard" of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment that performs similar funerals as well as guard The tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A military chaplain performed the burial service.
This ceremony meant that even though the man had no relatives he was not forgotten.
Keesler Air Force Base provides many benefits to the community and our veterans and honor guard funeral services is just one more benefit to the community. The American Legion Post 42 , Ocean Springs, Miss., meets each third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The next regular meeting open to new members is Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, at the Senior Citizens Center, Washington Avenue, Ocean Springs, Miss., next to the Anderson Museum. The recently chartered Sons of the American Legion Squadron 42 meets at the same time and place. New members are welcome.
Richard Eckert Sr.
American Legion Post 42 historian
Ocean Springs, Miss.