Mississippi Communities Honor Veterans

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About 300 Meridian residents gathered near the city's downtown Doughboy World War One monument for a Veteran's Day Ceremony. The gathering included prayers and symbolic laying of wreaths.

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Hearon, wing commander of the Mississippi National Guard's 186th Air Refueling Wing in Meridian, said military personnel represent "a true cross-section of our country covering every region and ethnic group.''

Hearon says by next year more than a third of U.S. military forces in Iraq will be drawn from the ranks of Reserves and National Guard.

Across the state, Natchez marked Veterans Day with events that included a parade featuring high school bands and a downtown ceremony with remarks by U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi.

In Batesville, Gov.Ronnie Musgrove joined in the salute to veterans and the downtown parade.