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Keesler honors namesake with retreat ceremony

  • Published
  • By Brian Lamar
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Hundreds of Airmen assigned to Keesler Air Force Base lined Meadows Drive in formation as Keesler leadership, military retirees and local business and civic leaders gathered in front of the 81st Training Wing Headquarters Building during a 75th anniversary Lt. Keesler retreat ceremony May 13.

The purpose of the ceremony was to honor the career and life of Lt. Samuel Keesler, Jr., for whom Keesler Air Force Base is named. Keesler entered the Army Air Service on May 13, 1917 and was killed in action during World War I a year later.

“Today we learn more about the history of our great base, and perhaps even a little more importantly, together we stand shoulder-to-shoulder as an extremely proud group of American Airmen who are fortunate to carry on the legacy of Lt. Keesler and this base,” said Col. Michele Edmondson, 81st TRW commander.

Retired Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Adams and retired Lt. Col. Henry Burkle were recognized as special guests for being assigned to Keesler the year it became a named military installation.

“This was a great ceremony and I was delighted to be invited and take part of it,” said Adams.

Also during the ceremony, TJ Moran, Mississippi 4th District, Congressman Steven Palazzo’s office representative, read a Congressional Record that was also read to the 114th House of Congress in front of the sitting Speaker of the House.

After the “Star-Spangled Banner” and taps played during the ceremony, an honor guard of 81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance personnel dressed in World War II service uniforms and lowered the flag while retreat was played.

“Retreat is a time to reflect on the hard work done during the duty day, on who we are and why we do what we do, and to humble ourselves to the legacy that the men and women who have come before us have written in the pages of history,” said Edmondson.