Decatur, ECCC to Salute Veterans

Military veterans will be guests of honor when Celebration of Freedom 2012 is held Saturday, Nov. 10, in downtown Decatur and at East Central Community College’s Bailey Stadium.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. with a parade in downtown Decatur. Veterans of World War II and the Korean Conflict are receiving special recognition at this year’s event and will be a part of the parade lineup along with ECCC’s Wall O’ Sound Marching Band and several area high school bands.

Special recognition continues for the World War II and Korean Conflict heroes who will be provided a complimentary lunch by EC’s SkillsUSA members at Bailey Stadium.

A concession stand will be available for the public to purchase lunch. The public is also invited to visit the Memorabilia Room located in the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building, and the military displays (including a helicopter and military service vehicles) and antique auto display available at Bailey Stadium. The self-guided events will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A patriotic concert featuring EC’s Wall O’ Sound and the Ac’cents, the College’s show choir, begins at noon at Bailey Stadium.

The Celebration of Freedom Ceremony is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m., also at Bailey Stadium.

Program participants and order of service include Dr. Mike Grevey, master of ceremonies, special presentation; ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart, welcome; Chaplain Hank Moreau, LTC, US Army (Retired); 204th ADA-Newton, presentation of colors; Sonya Smith, national anthem followed by a flyover by the MS Air National Guard in Meridian; Brigadier General Mitchell L. Brown, Veterans Day remarks; Lt. Gen. (Retired) William L. Freeman, Jr., guest speaker; Major General (Retired) William L. (Bill) Waller, Jr., keynote speaker; Kenneth Harris, president, Newton County Board of Supervisors, presentation of resolution honoring World War II veterans; Pat O’Neill, Mayor of Decatur, presentation of resolution honoring Korean Conflict veterans; Dr. McGrevey, special recognition of World War II and Korean Conflict veterans; Colonel Harry D. Hastings, US Army (Retired), veterans’ response; ECCC Music Department/Boy Scout Troop 46, salute to the Armed Forces; James Davis and Sam Williams, wreath laying; ECCC Wall O’ Sound Band, playing of Taps; Dianne Smith, committee chairman, balloon release remarks; and ECCC Ac’cents performance of God Bless America.

Activities conclude with a balloon release ceremony as family members and friends honoring their respective military heroes.

The public is invited to attend the event and show support and appreciation of all who have served or continue to serve our country.

For more information on Celebration of Freedom 2012, contact the Town of Decatur, 601-635-2761.