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Keesler honors namesake with retreat ceremony

81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Lt. Col. Henry Burkle and Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Adams, Jr., both retired and stationed at Keesler during WORLD WAR II, speak to 81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Lt. Col. Henry Burkle and Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Adams, Jr., both retired and stationed at Keesler during WORLD WAR II, speak to 81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Master Sgt. Jeffery Thatcher, 81st Security Forces Squadron standardizations and evaluations superintendent, serves as the narrator during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is one part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Master Sgt. Jeffery Thatcher, 81st Security Forces Squadron standardizations and evaluations superintendent, serves as the narrator during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is one part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

81st Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance members fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Adams, Jr., and Lt. Col. Henry Burkle, both retired and stationed at Keesler during WORLD WAR II, watch as members of the 81st Security Forces Squadron fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Adams, Jr., and Lt. Col. Henry Burkle, both retired and stationed at Keesler during WORLD WAR II, watch as members of the 81st Security Forces Squadron fold the U.S. flag during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airman 1st Class Robert Wyatt, 338th Training Squadron student, plays taps during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airman 1st Class Robert Wyatt, 338th Training Squadron student, plays taps during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Navy retired Chief Petty Officer Frederick Petersen and fellow members from the Armed Forces Retirement Home render a salute during the playing of taps at the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Navy retired Chief Petty Officer Frederick Petersen and fellow members from the Armed Forces Retirement Home render a salute during the playing of taps at the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Col. Michele Edmondson, 81st Training Wing commander, delivers opening remarks during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Col. Michele Edmondson, 81st Training Wing commander, delivers opening remarks during the Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler, Jr. Memorial Retreat Ceremony May 13, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The event was held in honor of Lt. Keesler’s date of entry into the Army Air Service 99 years ago. The retreat ceremony is part of a year-long celebration of Lt. Keesler, a Mississippi native and WORLD WAR I hero, and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

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., whom Keesler Air Force Base is named after. Keesler entered the Army Air Service 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.