SLIDELL, La. - For 18 months, the remains of Marine Sgt. Michael Guillory have sat in the comfort of his mother's home. Saturday, they'll be moved to his final resting place in the new Southeast Louisiana Veterans' Cemetery.
“I’m excited about it because its representing our veterans and this is a great opportunity for our area, at the same time I'm broken because it's time to lay him at rest,” said his mother Gina.
Guillory will be the first military member placed at the cemetery, which opened two weeks ago. After being killed in an ATV accident in Afghanistan in December 2012, his remains were welcomed home by thousands.
A similar turnout is expected Saturday. That, and the uniqueness of the cemetery, is making this last goodbye a little easier. "This is just going to be the closure, I guess,” she said, “The final acceptance that this is part of life and he was absolutely doing what he wanted to do and he was willing to put his life at risk for all of us."
But Guillory is proud her son is leading the way in this much needed place of respect just for military members. She's also grateful to have had unending support from the community. through Michael's death, on the good and bad days since, tomorrow and beyond.
Guillory said, "I'm very proud to say that Michael won’t be forgotten. It’s not only him, but its all of those fallen that will continue to be remembered. Those sacrifices, whether it’s life that's taken or just the sacrifices of homes when any deployed are gone." The interment is scheduled for 2:30 Saturday afternoon. The Veterans’ Cemetery is located on the I-12 Service Road, next to Camp Villere in Slidell.