Veterans Day Program
Photos courtesy of Steve Seely and Stephanie Packer.
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23rd Annual Jackson County Veterans Day Program

For 23 years, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, veterans, their families, and the Jackson County community has gathered at the Jackson County Veterans Memorial to honor the sacrifices of veterans of our armed forces. This year’s Veterans Day event was held under clear skies with solemn recognition of all Veterans, living, deceased, lost in action, missing in action, and those held as prisoners of war. The goal of this annual event is to remind all of us that the freedom we enjoy as Americans is not without costs for the men and women that serve our country.

Although the theme of this and the many other Veterans Day programs held across our country on this federal holiday is squarely about veterans, it also provides an opportunity to engage the broader community about the value of our veterans and their service to our country. Organizers of this annual event work hard to include youth and other civic-minded organizations to participate. This year’s event included an honor guard from the Pascagoula-Gautier ROTC and children reciting the pledge of allegiance from Mary’s Little Lambs Academy.

Students from Resurrection Catholic’s Interact Club served as hostesses of the event and Moss Point School’s Kreole Primary Pre-K 4 class, Magnolia Middle School Art and Exploration Education class, along with Pascagoula-Gautier Cherokee Elementary and Trent Lott Academy’s Cochran 5th grade classes made thank you cards that were presented to all participating vets. Veterans from local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts also participated.

This year’s keynote speaker was Colonel Berry L. McCormick, Commander of the Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) in Gulfport. Colonel McCormick shared his thoughts of what it means to him to serve his country and the significance of honoring veterans. Among his many thoughtful comments, these statements stood out – “The line of Americans willing to risk their lives for this land, for its ideals, and for its people is long and distinguished. Each of them is a part of our military’s patriotic legacy.” “Our veterans have served us with honor and dignity, so it is altogether fitting that we as a nation, as a people, take time to recognize their service and their sacrifices.”

The annual Veterans Day Program is sponsored by the Moss Point Main Street Association, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Moss Point. Both organizations thank the many volunteers and civic organizations that contributed to this year’s event. Most importantly, they thank the veterans of Jackson County for their service. “Jackson county has a rich veteran history that we are honored to celebrate as a community on this special day.” Stephanie Packer, Moss Point Main Street Association.

The Jackson County Veterans Memorial is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Moss Point. The U.S. Flag and the flags of all branches of service fly year-round, replaced twice a year to honor the significance of the men and women that serve our country. In addition to the flags, the memorial includes several granite memorial walls with the names of Jackson County veterans, living and deceased. The memorial was established by the late John Welch, a Korean War Veteran (U.S. Marine Corps) and a long-time Rotarian. For information about the memorial, contact the Rotary Club through its Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Rotarymosspoint.

Report

Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.

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