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Food and reflection: Different ways Memphis celebrated Memorial Day 2021

Published: May. 31, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In 2020, many Mid-Southerners experienced Memorial Day from their homes.

This prevented the House of MTenzi Museum on Madison Avenue from holding their annual Forgotten Souls Festival, a meal and hygiene supply giveaway to hundreds of area homeless people, many of them veterans.

This Memorial Day, the line was down the street.

“Three hundred, three-fifty, might be even a little bit more,” said John Mitchell. “Whatever we have left, we normally take it over to some other places where the homeless hang around.”

Mitchell is with the group Bless Men of God (BMG) that’s helped House of MTenzi with Forgotten Souls since 2016.

For him, helping the homeless, particularly the veterans, is a personal mission for him.

“I did ten years in the Army,” Mitchell said. “It’s just an honor for me to be our here and be able to represent and just show my appreciation.”

The House of MTenzi is looking for more volunteers to hold events like Forgotten Souls throughout the year.

Pastor Cam with House of MTenzi can be reached at (901) 273-5038 and by hommmemphis@gmail.com.

Several miles down the road, dozens came to Memorial Park Cemetery for a Memorial Day recognition ceremony.

Remarks were made by Retired U.S. Army Chaplain and Colonel Barry Henson, who spoke on the current political divide in our country and how it’s days like Memorial Day that can serve as a refresh to how we can look to similarities rather than differences amongst ourselves.

Henson said “May we find a way to thank them (veterans) by being better citizens, by being more loving neighbors, by being more tolerant of each other, and may we strive to keep the memories of those who paid for our freedom alive.”

The ceremony featured a wreath laying, a canon salute, and the playing of taps, a small gesture to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, according to Henson.

“We must have imbedded within us the strength and the courage and the honor to live a life that’s worthy of those who have given theirs for us,” Henson said.

Whether giving to the neediest in the community or reflecting on the sacrifices of veterans, both Henson and Mitchell would agree that Memorial Day should be every day, that citizens should always recognize the freedom they have and how it’s been acquired for all citizens.

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