Columbus’s American Legion hosts a veterans day dinner

Members of the American Legion wanted to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Veterans day is marked to be celebrated one day out of the year, but their dedication to protecting our country lives on.

Members of the American Legion wanted to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice and those that fought and are still with us by having a Veterans dinner.

” Freedom is not free it’s been earned. We all come from a whole different background but we were here for one purpose and that was to protect and serve our country,” said veteran Deon Gore.

Veterans of each branch of the military took their seats and told their stories with fellow retired comrades. There was also a memorial set up to remember the fallen soldiers and honor the battle they served for their country. The American Legion typically holds the event each year, but the covid-19 pandemic put a pause on the dinner in 2020.

“This is the first year that things are opening back up so we’re proud to do it this year,” said American Legion second commander Tommie Miller.

Miller and Clanton Johnson are commanders at the American Legion. They typically hold about 300 veterans each year, but in 2021; the numbers weren’t as deep, but the message remained the same.

“It brings us all together because a lot of us live in different areas and we don’t have any communication with each other during the year and some of them don’t come down here but what we try to stress is the legion belongs to everybody,” said Johnson.

Guest speaker first sergeant Rita Felton retired from the air force after 30 years at the Columbus Air force base. She said talking to other veterans and reflecting on her experience felt like a continued tradition that she was grateful to carry on.

“To be part of those who have already gone before me to lead the way and to be able to be there for our country and to continue that legacy we are definitely on their wings as we continue for freedom for our country,” said Felton.

The dinner is expected to go on again in 2022 around Veterans Day.

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