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Jennings Memorial Day parade honors those killed in war, pays tribute to one of their own

Posted at 2:41 AM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 14:52:03-04

As a tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, American Legion Post 520 in Jennings held a Memorial Day parade and ceremony.

"We can never forget the sacrifices that our veterans made. It’s a tough job being a member of the military, you know, it’s hard work. You spend a lot of time away from your family. And there’s a lot of sacrifices that are involved," said the commander of the American Legion Post of Jefferson Davis, Glenn McFarlain.

For some, like Marcus Cain, they gave the ultimate sacrifice. Cain was killed in Iraq in 2006. He was one of the first African American soldiers from Jennings to be killed in war.

"On September 13, 2006 Marcus met his fate as a result of a suicide bomber," they said when honoring him in the ceremony.

At the Marcus Cain Park, the American Legion Post 520 honored Cain and many others who were killed, are prisoners of war, or missing in action by reading off their more than 200 names.

"We can never forget about them because their families are still enduring hard ship and they may still be enduring hardship and we never want to forget about them until they come home," said Don Hall, the commander of American Legion Post 520.

The members of the post also share another bond apart from their service.

"American Legion 520 is an all American, black post. And we’re trying to keep our post together because this is historic," said Kenneth Zackary, a member who also served in the US Navy from 1968 to 1975 during the Vietnam War.

These veterans served their country alongside many others.

"I was an aviator. I was an air crewman on the C54 cargo plane," said Zackary.

"I was in the army. I spent 13 months in Korea. I was young and when you’re young you don’t think a whole lot, you’re just ready to do and obey the commands," said Hall who was in the Army also during the Vietnam War in 1971.

And while serving in the military can be difficult for anyone, the added struggles of being a black soldier when the color of their skin wasn’t widely accepted, made it even more difficult for some of these veterans.

"Over the years it was pretty tough you know what I mean. And then the federal government decided we could have our own post which was great, but it was also sad too because we could not be involved in the regular American Post even though we all served in the same war," said Zackary.

A stark reminder that America is home of the free because of the brave.