Celebrate America and Veterans

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Veterans from all across Mississippi made their way to the Capitol to be a part of "Celebrate America", the largest veterans’ celebration in the state.

"We wanted it to be the biggest thing that we could do for these people," said Maj. Gen. James Lipscomb, adjutant general of the Mississippi National Guard. "Those that have been willing to stand up and serve and to serve in those conflicts and for those who paid the ultimate price of giving their life for our freedoms."

The program honored and saluted the men and women from every branch of the armed forces who served in defense of our country's freedom.

"None of us would have anything that we have without these men and women who are here today and we are honoring," said Miss Mississippi, Allison Kellogg. "So to sit among them was just so special."

The celebration featured Lt. Col. Oliver North, G.V. Sonny Montgomery, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, and former Iraqi POW Ron Young, Jr., who was the keynote speaker. Governor-elect Haley Barbour and his wife, Marsha, were also in attendance.

"As a veteran, it meant a lot," said Thomas Collins of Lauderdale, a former POW. "We are proud of our service, but we also deeply appreciate the nation showing appreciation for our service and that is what this is about today."