Veterans Remembered

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Veterans Day is Sunday, but Mississippi Veterans Cemetery hosted a service Friday. Veterans and their families were in attendance.

Five Mississippians who lost their lives while fighting in the Persian Gulf War were added to a memorial wall.

"It's like I told them in my remarks today," said Sen. Terry Burton. "I wish every hamlet, village, city, town, in America still had Veterans Day parades and honored veterans the way we should."

"It means love of country," said Lt. Col. Harry Hastings, U.S. Army (ret.). "It means patriotism; it means honoring our veterans. It means freedom that we know we got as a result of our veterans. It's just so many things that it means. It's just a patriotic ceremony."

Veterans say that their families played an important role, being there for them when they returned home.

"The ones that also sacrificed are those family members that stay at home and take care of us," said Norman Copeland of VFW Post 12124. "It's uncommon even in today's military where 25% of our veterans come home from combat are female."

84-year old Willie Johnson was attached to the first Navy Seals to the Stevedores, and says he was very proud to serve his country.

"I thank God for each and every one who come to pay respects to the warriors that put their arm around this country to protect it," said Johnson, a Clarke County veteran.

Meridian will host a Veterans Day service Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Doughboy Monument in downtown Meridian. At 3 p.m., the Veterans Day Parade begins. The public is invited to both events.