Cemetery in Kilmichael honors veterans for Memorial Day

KILMICHAEL, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s a place of mourning, remembrance, and service. The North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery is set aside to honor those who have served the country.

North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery opened in 2017 and it is known as one of the top 10 veterans cemeteries in the nation. It takes a lot of work to maintain the grounds and that reputation.

North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery director William Rhine says being able to honor veterans is personal for him as a retired Navy veteran.

“Memorial Day means to me specifically, remember, Honor, and Teach,” Rhine said. “I think it’s kind of self-gratifying. It’s my way of continuing to serve even though I retired from the Navy, I’m continuing to help veterans and their families”

As family and friends gather to honor fallen soldiers, Rhine says they are always making sure the grounds look their best year-round to give them an honorable, dignified, final resting place.

“We try to keep every day, the cemetery in pristine condition following those standards and measures set forth by the National Cemetery Administration,” Rhine said.

As far as the appearance goes, they adhere to 85 operational standards and measures from the National Cemetery Administration.

“It covers anything from our record-keeping files, our vehicle maintenance, our equipment, maintenance, the grass, the lawns the trees,” Rhine said. “We just received a national award in keeping to a final resting place for veterans and their families.”

While honoring all of those laid to rest, Rhine will take a special walk to honor and spend time with each one.

“I have a classmate whose father is interred here,” Rhine said. “I will take an extra minute and visit that site during my walk around.”

The gates stay open 24/7 to honor anyone, anytime.

“I think we owe it to them – veterans who are no longer with us,” Rhine said.

The Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery is funded through state money, and it will hold 120 to 145 thousand when it reaches full capacity.

The cemetery will host a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday.

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