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Veterans honored at Memorial Day celebration

By Ashley Nerbovig

This article was published May 26, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.

families-walk-through-the-rows-of-tombstones-at-the-arkansas-state-veterans-cemetery-on-memorial-day

Families walk through the rows of tombstones at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day celebration

Gov. Mike Beebe marks Memorial Day with Little Rock residents at the state Veterans Cemetery on Monday, May 27, 2014. (By Lisa Burnett and Ashley Nerbovig)
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Gov. Mike Beebe on Monday spoke at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery to honor all servicemen and their families.

The Memorial Day service was attended by veterans, their families and current soldiers.

Beebe was introduced by Cissy Rucker, director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, who along with the governor placed a memorial wreath to honor those who have lost their lives serving the United States.

Beebe read a letter President Abraham Lincoln wrote to Lydia Bixby, who lost five of her sons during the Civil War.

"'I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming," Beebe said. "'But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.'"

A chair with a single rose on the seat was placed at the front of the ceremony to remember prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action, and attendees observed a moment of silence.

Forest E. Harrell performed a two-bell ceremony to honor those who have fallen in service to the Navy.

It was be Beebe's final Memorial Day celebration as governor, and he closed the ceremony by telling the crowd that it was an honor to have served them during his eight years.

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