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Coastians honor those who died for our freedom

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD/FILEThe headstones at Biloxi National Cemetery, shown here in 2015, are decorated with American flags for today's Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD/FILEThe headstones at Biloxi National Cemetery, shown here in 2015, are decorated with American flags for today's Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m.

Today is Memorial Day, and South Mississippi communities are honoring members of the United States Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives in defense of our country.

Among today's observances:

-- The city of Gulfport and VFW Post 2539 will host a ceremony at 7:30 a.m. at Barksdale Pavilion in Jones Park.

-- The annual Memorial Day service at Biloxi National Cemetery, 400 Veterans Ave., will begin at 9 a.m. U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker will speak. Details: 388-6668.

-- Beginning at 10:30 a.m., American Legion Post 139 will host a ceremony at the grave of Clement R. Bontemps, a U.S. Marine who died in World War I. The ceremony will be at the St. Mary's Cemetery in Bay St. Louis in memory of the Post's departed comrades. Refreshments will be served.

-- At 11 a.m., at the VFW Auxiliary of D'Iberville's wreath-laying ceremony, the U.S. Marine Corps will present the colors and singer Eva Black will sing the national anthem. Details: 380-2088.

-- Also at 11 a.m., the VFW Post 2434 in Biloxi will host a Memorial Day ceremony.

With the weather warming up, Saturday's Red White and Blueberry Festival will bring welcome relief in the form of fruity ice cream treats. The festival will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the L&N Depot Plaza in downtown Ocean Springs. Get free ice cream with choice of blueberries or strawberries, along with other blueberry dishes, recipes, bushes to plant and cooking demonstrations. Farmers market vendors also will be on hand with fresh produce and other goodies.

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