Starkville Daily News - - AROUND TOWN -

Boy Scouts from Troop 27 and Troop 14 helped place the flags on the graves on Fri­day.

“It’s all very nos­tal­gic,” Karl Greb­ner, a Boy Scout in Troop 27, said. “It helps us not to take things for granted, be­cause peo­ple have sac­ri­ficed their lives for the free­doms we have to­day.”

Troop 14 Boy Scout Ja­son Rober­son

said this was the sec­ond year he par­tic­i­pated in the event.

“It’s a way to honor the sol­diers who gave their lives for us,” Rober­son said.

Don­ald said he found the in­spi­ra­tion for this an­nual me­mo­rial event dur­ing the last part of his Army ca­reer, where he worked at the em­bassies in Bel­gium and Lux­em­bourg.

“My ex­pe­ri­ences while I was there, we were re­spon­si­ble for con­duct­ing

Me­mo­rial Day ser­vices in those ceme­ter­ies which are run by the Amer­i­can Bat­tle­field Mon­u­ment Com­mis­sion,” Don­ald said.

Don­ald said many ser­vice­men who were killed dur­ing their ser­vice were buried in ceme­ter­ies over­seas.

“What I saw is that the Euro­peans, the Bel­gians and the Lux­em­bourg’s, they had adopted graves of Amer­i­can sol­diers, and they would put flow­ers and Amer­i­can flags on the graves,” Don­ald said.

Af­ter his re­tire­ment in 2002, Don­ald said he saw many Amer­i­can did not treat the mil­i­tary mem­bers who were buried in the home coun­try with the same re­spect.

“There were all the World War II vet­eran or­ga­ni­za­tions that would come out and honor the Amer­i­can dead, and when I came back here we weren’t do­ing any­thing,” Don­ald said.

A mon­u­ment is lo­cated out­side the Ok­tibbeha County Court­house

with all the names of peo­ple from Ok­tibbeha County who have been killed in the line of duty from World War I through the present day.

“It’s a piece of stone with peo­ple’s name in it, but it’s more than that,” he said. “It’s peo­ple’s loved ones, and peo­ple here in Ok­tibbeha County have loved ones’ names that are on that stone, and they gave every­thing. I just don’t want to for­get.”

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