TUPELO – Veterans Day events throughout the area honored service men and women for dedicated service in the United States Armed Forces.
The Annual Veterans Day Celebration at Veterans Memorial Park in Tupelo features speeches from retired Army Gens. James Mitchell and T.K. Moffett.
With nearly 100 years of military service between them, the two career servicemen delivered an optimistic message to the crowd of hundreds.
“There are more than 23 million veterans living in this country and 250,000 living right here in Mississippi,” said Mitchell, a Sherman native. “This day is about common Americans who’ve done extraordinary things to preserve the freedoms of this country. Everyday is a duty day for many of our veterans. Every hour, every minute, every second someone is serving this country.”
Moffet echoed Mitchell’s gratitude and admiration for the men and women in America’s military.
“This country is what it is because of your service,” said Moffett to the veterans in attendance. “It’s not about the generals. Generals don’t win wars, privates do. We want to thank all of you who serve our country.”
The American Legion was also honored at the ceremony. Post 49 Commander John Blanchard unveiled a monument dedicated to the American Legion.
Other tributes were held in communities throughout the region, including Saltillo, Okolona, Nettelton and Mooreville.
In Oxford, area residents met at the National Guard Readiness Center for a program sponsored by local posts of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans.
Oxford Middle School Band offered a short concert of patriotic music, and the Air Force Junior ROTC from Lafayette High School posted the colors.
Retired National Guard Maj. Gen. Edwin H. Roberts Jr. told the young people to note well the veterans in their presence.
“They represent the millions of men and women who have served this republic since its founding,” he said. “From the time that George Washington first put it on, the uniform of the United States military has stood for courage, decency and shining hope in a world of darkness.”
Roberts, who is also a chancery judge, told the audience that they have a role in justifying the service and sacrifice that members of the military have rendered.
“Live your lives and be good Americans,” he said. “This is the thanks that Americans can give.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Oxford reporter Errol Castens also contributed to this story.
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal