Northeast Mississippi, (WCBI) – This solemn assembly brought out veterans, their family members and friends. It’s an opportunity to thank those who served with honor and valor.
Retired and active members of all branches of the United States military were on hand for the annual ceremony at Tupelo’s Veterans Park.
This year’s guest speaker, retired Lieutenant Colonel Michael Pettigrew gave a short history lesson on the background of Veteran’s Day. He commended veterans for their service and challenge them to continue an important mission on the homefront.
“I’m also going to ask the veterans to rededicate themselves to helping out their community, so it’s not just about being a veteran and what we did, it’s about who we are and what we are going to do in the future,” Pettigrew said.
As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War, veterans of that conflict say it’s refreshing to see that attitudes have changed dramatically with the passage of time.
“At that particular time we weren’t really greeted like most veterans were so it means a great now just to be honored and knowing that our service meant something to this country,” Marvin McWhorter said.
Korean War Veteran Dan Seal says it’s important to support active duty military .
“It saddens me to see the perspective that the military is a pawn to budget cuts and budget priorities, that’s not why we exist. We exist to defend this country and there should be no problem with the tools we need to do that,” Seal said.
Not long after the Tupelo ceremony wrapped up, hundreds lined Main street in Pontotoc to pay tribute to true American heroes.
All public schools take part as a way to honor veterans and also to teach students the important qualities that set this country apart from all others.
Veteran’s Day has been officially recognized since 1954.