RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – The City of Ridgeland honored its past, present and future military heroes on Memorial Day with the grand opening of its Veterans Memory Park.
After more than a year of planning and construction, Ridgeland officially dedicated and cut the ribbon on its newest park – which pays tribute to veterans.
“I think Memorial Day in the past has been taken for granted and now there seems to be a resurgence of patriotism. And it’s needed. The military needs to be recognized for all that they do,” said Mississippi National Guard 1st Sergeant and Commander Connie Joe Hontzas.
Veterans’ Memory Park is in front of Ridgeland City Hall… and everyone in the community is welcome to visit. It features engraved bricks that were purchased by local families to honor their loved ones, plaques dedicated to all of the military’s branches, and a bell tower.
Several speakers, including Mayor Gene McGee, got a chance to take the podium to show gratitude.
“Thank you for those who have served in our military that sacrificed everything so that we might have that freedom,” said Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee.
The event ended with music from the Red River Pipes and Drums Band.
Former State Representative Rita Martinson is a military wife. She said her husband isn’t the only reason that Memorial Day is essential to her.
“It’s very important to me to celebrate Memorial Day also because I have an uncle who was in pearl harbor when it was bombed,” said Former State Representative Rita Martinson of District 58.
Many of the service men and women who attended the dedication ceremony were overwhelmed with emotion.
“I’m just proud that I was able to give 33 years of my life to my country.”
A lasting tribute to those who served and those who gave their lives.