Governor Phil Bryant is issuing two executive orders for the state of Mississippi in efforts to honor the 16 service members killed in the military plane crash. MPB's Alexis Ware reports
"Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking to know these brave men were living their last moments here in this great state."
Governor Phil Bryant is offering condolences to the families of 16 servicemen who died in a Marine Corps aircraft crash in LeFlore County. On Thursday in an executive order he declared the site an emergency area. He warns people against entering the site of the accident or taking items.
"If someone accidentally finds an item that appears to be related to this crash they need to be able to return that immediately. It could be a federal crime particularly if it's ordinances or weapons. So anyone looking for souvenirs should understand that they may be violating a federal or state law, and we intend to prosecute them."
The 15 marines and one Navy sailor killed are from all over the country. Six marines and the sailor were from an elite Marine Raider battalion. Nine were based out of Steward Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York.
The crash happened in a soybean field. Bryant tells the families of the fallen he wants the area to become a monument.
"A day will come when we will identify this crash scene in some manner a monument a plaque in some way that when generations hence see it they will remember that 16 of America's finest lost their lives in that bean field and we will honor their lives forever."
Governor Bryant has ordered flags to be lowered and flown at half staff on Friday.