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Veterans Remembered During Service At Fort Gibson National Cemetery

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Eleven veterans were honored Wednesday during the Moment of Remembrance service in Fort Gibson. Eleven veterans were honored Wednesday during the Moment of Remembrance service in Fort Gibson.
The Haskell and Muskogee American Legions fired off the rifle salute, while the Oklahoma National Guard folded and presented the burial flag to the cemetery. The Haskell and Muskogee American Legions fired off the rifle salute, while the Oklahoma National Guard folded and presented the burial flag to the cemetery.
Fort Gibson National Cemetery Director Bill Rhoades. Fort Gibson National Cemetery Director Bill Rhoades.
Bill Loyd is a Navy veteran. He drove to Fort Gibson from Tulsa to salute those he'd never met. Bill Loyd is a Navy veteran. He drove to Fort Gibson from Tulsa to salute those he'd never met.
FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma -

Nearly a dozen Oklahoma heroes were honored Wednesday. They were all laid to rest, without anyone to bid them a final farewell, but they weren't forgotten.

Eleven veterans were honored during the Moment of Remembrance service in Fort Gibson. Some were soldiers who could tell you about fighting in World War II, while others served our country in the Vietnam and Korean Wars.

But when they were interred, it was a quiet farewell—no family, no friends, just the slow tune of "Taps" ringing in the distance.

"Some of them are infirm, they come from nursing homes, and just don't have any family that's here," said Fort Gibson National Cemetery Director Bill Rhoades.

All 11 Veterans were buried there over the past five months, and while their families weren't there to say goodbye, they certainly weren't alone.

"I felt that it was my duty to honor these people," said Bill Loyd.

Loyd is a Navy veteran. He drove to Fort Gibson from Tulsa to salute those he'd never met.

"Everybody should have somebody and we're the somebodies," he said.

The service was a community effort. The Haskell and Muskogee American Legions fired off the rifle salute, while the Oklahoma National Guard folded and presented the burial flag to the cemetery.

If you ask any veteran in the crowd, the 11 unfamiliar names that were read off Wednesday aren't just names, they're heroes and family.

"We're all blood brothers. See those emblems over there? That means that we're all together, whether you're Army or Navy or what," Loyd said.

And with patriotism like that, the cemetery plans to hold the memorial service every first Wednesday of the month, from now on.

"Even if we don't have anyone who was buried without military honors, we'll still have a service so we can pay our respects to those young men and women who have lost their lives in Afghanistan," Rhoades said.

The cemetery will display the burial flag it received Wednesday on holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.

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