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Veterans Day events start Thursday, conclude Saturday

Meridian Star - 11/7/2023

Nov. 7—Honoring America's veterans for their patriotism and love of their country is something many people do all year round, but with Veterans Day being observed this Saturday, several activities are planned around Meridian starting on Thursday to recognize men and women who are currently serving or have served in the U.S. military.

Meridian Community College will kick off three days of commemoration with a special salute to veterans on Thursday, followed by a tribute to veterans planned for Friday at the East Mississippi Veterans Park. On Saturday, a morning tribute to veterans will be held at the Doughboy Monument, as well as a luncheon at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 79, followed by a downtown parade on Saturday afternoon.

Veterans Day is observed in the U.S. each year on Nov. 11. That date is significant becomes it marks the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 when an armistice was signed between Allied nations and Germany temporarily ceasing hostilities during World War I. A treaty officially ending "The Great War," as it came to be called, was signed seven months later.

A year later, on Nov. 11, 1919, the U.S. commemorated those Americans who had fought and died in World War I, celebrating it as Armistice Day. Congress officially made the date a federal holiday in 1938, and Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 at the urging of many veterans organizations.


Locally, Veterans Day activities will kick off Thursday with Lt. Col. Albert Germany delivering the keynote address during a salute to veterans at 11 a.m. in the McCain Theater, located in Ivy-Scaggs Hall at Meridian Community College. The community is invited to attend the event. Naval Air Station Meridian will present the colors, the MCC Concert Choir will perform and MCC guitar instructor Mitch Brantley will offer a patriotic guitar tribute.


On Friday, a Veterans Day Tribute, hosted by the East Mississippi Veterans Foundation, will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the East Mississippi Veterans Park, located adjacent to Meridian's historic Key Field. The tribute will honor and recognize area veterans for their service to the nation.

Guest speaker for the event will be Naval Air Station Meridian Command Master Chief Craig Johnson, the senior enlisted person at the base. Also at the event, the national anthem and special music will be provided by the Meridian High School choir led by student conductor Marquavious Kennedy under the direction of Alanna Burns and Sabina Ivy.

During the program, Gold Star Mother Wilma Allen will announce plans for the addition of a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to the veterans park with planning and fundraising for the monument expected to begin soon by the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Committee. When completed, it will be the fourth Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in the state, along with ones in Gulfport, Camp Shelby and Tupelo.


Several events are planned for Saturday in recognition of Veterans Day.

A special Veterans Day Tribute is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Doughboy Monument in downtown Meridian across from the city hall lawn. Capt. Luke H. Davis, commanding officer of NAS Meridian, will be the keynote speaker.

The Veterans Day Planning Committee encourages all residents to attend the event, which will honor all veterans who have served in the U.S. military.

Then at noon on Saturday, all veterans and Veterans Day Tribute attendees are invited to attend a free luncheon to be held at 12 p.m. at VFW Post 79, located at 5614 Old Highway 80 West.

Concluding the day's activities will be a Veterans Day Parade, slated to begin at 3 p.m. in downtown Meridian. Line-up for the parade will begin on 25th Avenue at Ninth Street. The parade's route will proceed to 23rd Avenue, turn south and continue to Front Street, before turning east. At 22nd Avenue, the parade will turn north and conclude at the 10th Street intersection. The best places to view the parade are around the Doughboy Monument on 23rd Avenue and at Dumont Plaza.

For more information about the MCC veterans program, visit

For more information about Friday event's at East Mississippi Veterans Park, contact Jeff Summerlin, president of the East Mississippi Veterans Foundation, at To find out more about the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, contact Wilma Allen at

For more information on the veterans parade, contact Richard Nelson at

Contact Glenda Sanders at


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