Parade, ceremony honor fallen soldiers

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2006

Across the state many took time out from Memorial Day weekendbackyard barbecues and family outings to remember fallen soldiers.Hundreds gathered here Monday to pay tribute to Lincoln County’sown and to honor living veterans.

Veterans lined Whitworth Avenue in front of the MilitaryMemorial Museum. They humbly received residents’ praise as theyprepared for an annual parade.

The mood grew somber as Lt. Col. William L. Glasgow, commandingofficer of the Army National Guard’s 1-155th Infantry Battalion ofBrookhaven, reminded the public that “a terrible price in blood hasbeen paid” for the freedoms American enjoy today.

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Glasgow, a native of Starkville, has commanded the unit sinceFebruary 2001. He has served in the military for more than 22years.

He complimented the 296th Army Reserve Transportation Company,based here, for their exemplary performance in delivering bulk fueland other supplies while “driving the most dangerous roads in theworld” during their deployment in Iraq in 2003.

He then turned his attention to his own unit and its parentcommand, the 155th Brigade Combat Team, which deployed more than3,500 Mississippians to Iraq for service last year.

The 155th BCT was so well-regarded by its active dutycounterparts that is was “the only National Guard unit, so far,that had its own area of operations,” Glasgow said.

But Monday was about sacrifice and the 155th also had its shareof those, Glasgow said. He told the story of a Natchez soldier whoignored his own injuries after a roadside bombing to tend to thewounds of a fellow soldier. The Natchez soldier died because of hisactions.

It is a price soldiers know they must be willing to pay, andMemorial Day serves as “a vivid reminder of what it means to becalled to duty,” Glasgow said.

It is no less a truth today, in the fluid war against terrorism,than it was in past wars, and the public also has a role – tosupport its nation’s troops, regardless of politics, he said.

He said terrorists would eventually tire of fighting a losingwar because they could not match the tireless perseverance ofAmerican heritage.

“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our biggestbuildings, but they cannot shake the foundations of America,” hesaid.

Soldiers of the 155th and 296th displayed their modern equipmenton parade while joining veterans from World War II to OperationsDesert Shield and Storm, who climbed aboard vintage militaryvehicles, to travel with the parade to a wreath-laying ceremony atthe Lincoln County War Memorial.