Since he was killed in Afghanistan 18 months ago, the ashes of Marine Sgt. Michael Guillory have remained at his mother Gina’s Pearl River home.

With the opening of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell, that will soon change.

Guillory’s remains will be the first to be interred at the new burial ground, which had a grand opening ceremony Thursday.

The event, which attracted hundreds of veterans and family members to the cemetery, was “bittersweet,” Gina Guillory said.