First responders ‘light up Mississippi’ for Memorial Day

First responders ‘light up Mississippi’ for Memorial Day

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - First responders and military will tell you that the lifestyles aren’t so different. For that reason today, Mississippi’s law enforcement, Fire, and EMS families came together to honor our fallen military.

It was the idea of Tunica County Sheriff K.C. Hamp. He says it’s almost even a labor of love for the first responders, the military, and those fighting the coronavirus.

“That dark space that you have in your heart right now, we in the state of Mississippi would like to light that up right now. We pay tribute to you as well in these days and times. It is tough out here,” he said.

6 p.m. marked the moment the lights twinkled to life: Red, white and blue like the American flag. For some, it was especially poignant. Brandon Police Chief William Thompson lost five close friends on his last deployment, and he says he will always tell their stories.

“That keeps their memory alive. But I also like to share their memory and the funny stories with my sons, both of whom have indicated that they want to become members of the military,” he said.

Sgt. Kervin Stewart, a former Marine, was the bugle man at the State Capitol when the honor guard played Taps in honor of those fallen in the line of duty. He says each and every time he hears or plays it, the meaning is loud and clear.

“Taps for me is a sad thing, because that means someone has passed, and unfortunately what we do in the military and law enforcement, it’s very sad, and it’s humbling, and of course when you get to hear it it’s one thing, but when you don’t get to hear it that means it was you,” Stewart said.

Thompson says he wants it to be a message.

“Hoping that those that do drive by and see us it makes them reflect and know that the fact that they’re driving down that interstate free. Somebody paid for that,” he said.

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