Meridian Star

October 20, 2013

Festivities for Veteran's Day finalized

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A full day of honor is lined up for Veteran's Day that will begin Nov. 11 with the annual event marching off at the Doughboy Monument in downtown Meridian.

    Organizers of the event issued the final schedule of events that will honor and showcase military veterans from all conflicts who live in the Meridian and East Mississippi areas. According to organizers, the almost day long celebration of America's veterans will be both memorable and heartfelt.

    According to Chuck McElroy, event coordinator, a good crowd turned out last year to salute those men and women who have served America in uniform. He is hoping to capitalize on that momentum with a much larger event this year.

    "We had a good turnout, both from the residents saluting the veterans and by those organizations who participated in the parade itself," McElroy said. "We hope more turn out this year. We especially hope that parents will bring their children because it is the children who need to know what these veterans have done and how important it is to acknowledge their service."

    The Lauderdale County Veterans Day Committee, which is made up of representatives from all of the area Veterans Organizations, will be presenting three different activities on Veterans Day. David Sloan, a Vietnam War veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the chairman of the Lauderdale County Veteran's Day Committee, said this day is set aside to honor all veterans, past and present, with this year focusing specifically on a conflict that has been commonly referred to as "The Forgotten War."

    "There will be a special focus on the veterans of the Korean War this year," Sloan said. "It has been 60 years since the armistice was secured."

    Sloan said the public is invited to meet in front of the Doughboy Monument for a ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m., Nov. 11. Sloan said John Johnson from WTOK TV station will be the Master of Ceremonies. U.S. Navy Sr. Chief Kent Malone from the Naval Air Station is the scheduled guest speaker.

    "After this event there will be a special luncheon for all veterans and invited dignitaries at the VFW Post 79 located on Highway 80 West at noon," Sloan said.

    The third event, Sloan said, will be the annual Veterans Day Parade. Line up will begin at 2 p.m. and march off at 3 p.m. The theme of the parade is “Korean War Veterans, Many served, Few Remembered.”

    McElroy, a Persian Gulf War veteran of the U.S. Army, said the parade event is open to anybody and everybody wanting to participate. He said high school bands, floats and any military demonstrations will go a long way in providing the atmosphere to celebrate some of our nation's warriors.

    "The only thing we can't have are horses," McElroy said. "Other than that, motorcycle clubs, marching bands, floats of military service, and anything else the people can think of will be fine."

    McElroy said the applications to take part in the parade are available now up until Nov. 8. Anyone wanting to get an application and fill it out can contact Leroy Morse at 601-693-4422.