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Gold Star parents and veterans gather in Camden to remember the sacrifices of soldiers for Memorial Day

Gold Star families and veterans gather at the historic cemetery in Camden, New Jersey, for Memorial Day


Gold Star families and veterans gather at the historic cemetery in Camden, New Jersey, for Memorial Day

03:28

CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) – In a solemn tribute to the sacrifices made by American service members, Gold Star parents and veterans gathered at Camden’s historic Dempsey Daniel Butler Cemetery on Memorial Day despite the rainy weather.

Among them was Jacquelyn Dixon, a mother who lost her son, Army Specialist Anthony Dixon, on August 1, 2004, while serving in Iraq.

Jacquelyn Dixon, reflecting on her son’s decision to enlist after the September 11 attacks, emphasized the high price of freedom.

“We want the nation to always remember that freedom is not free,” she said. “Our children gave their lives so that freedom would continue. And they wanted to do what they did. They did it with honor.”

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The ceremony took place in a cemetery named after Dempsey Daniel Butler, a black Camden resident who founded the private cemetery in 1867 specifically for African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

“They didn’t have proper funerals. They didn’t have headstones. Sometimes they didn’t have ceremonies for them because they were troops of color,” said Chaplain Floyd White, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Army. “And the fact that I stand here today as a lieutenant colonel is because I show support for the soldiers of those who gave their lives.”

The meeting was a poignant reminder of the more than 646,000 American troops who have died in combat since the end of the Revolutionary War. As the star-spangled flag billowed in the sky above us, a symbol of the cherished freedom purchased at such a high price, those gathered raised their voices in a spirit of patriotism and sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic (Glory Hallelujah ) in honor of the legacy. and sacrifices of all who served.

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