American Legion Drane-Prine Post 79, Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Squadron 79 and Auxiliary Unit 79 partnered with the Wesson Garden Club on Thursday, May 26, to place a memorial wreath at the Town of Wesson’s Blue Star Highway Marker to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.
Attending the ceremony were Alderman and Legionnaire Mike King, American Legion Department of Mississippi Finance Officer and Post 79 Commander Bobby Thornton, Sarah Lassiter, Mississippi American Legion Auxiliary District 7 Director and Sharon Langley, President of Unit 79, along with veterans, garden club members and fellow citizens.
Wesson Garden Club President Dixie Thornton welcomed everyone to the ceremony. Thornton stated, “In 1944, the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs planted 8,000 dogwood trees as a living memorial to veterans of World War II. The National Council of State Garden Clubs (now National Garden Clubs, Inc.) adopted the program in 1945 and began the Blue Star Highway system to remember and honor our nation’s veterans. Today, Blue Star Markers honoring our armed forces are in most states along highways and veteran cemeteries. The Wesson Garden Club is honored to provide the memorial wreath for today’s ceremony.”
Commander Thornton thanked the Wesson Garden Club for remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Thornton pointed out on Monday, America will honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is not a day of celebration but a day of remembrance. He stated, “As a nation, we are to remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It is a somber day, but it is also a day of thanksgiving for the sacrifices made by these brave men and women. Throughout this Memorial Day weekend, let us reflect as a nation, on the price of freedom and the many soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors’ lives that were lost to protect it. Let us also remember the families who lost a loved one in service to our country and for those who have given so much for our freedom.”
Both Legionnaires and garden club members participated in the touching memorial ceremony. Commander Thornton, Sarah Lassiter, Dixie Thornton, and Sharon Langley laid the memorial wreath at the Blue Star Marker. Taps was sounded by Duval Salvant, Wesson Attendance Center band director, with a closing prayer by Sharon Langley.