What made this Fourth of July special for Meridian was a tribute to retired Cong. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, among the most loved and respected men in Mississippi. His dedication to the nation's military and its veterans is legendary.
Former President George H.W. Bush remains one of his closest friends and sent a video message to Sonny Friday night.
Two years ago the long time congressman from the third district of Mississippi looked back at his life.
"I guess it's the highlight of my life to be able to serve the public, to serve in the state senate and to serve in Congress for 30 years and people have been very good to me and I hope I've given something in return," Montgomery said.
Sonny Montgomery has written his life story in a book titled "Sonny Montgomery, The Veteran's Champion." He'll be signing his new book next Thursday, July 10, from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m. at Kahlmus Auditorium on the Meridian Campus of Mississippi State University.
A number of political dignitaries and candidates attended tonight's festivities in Meridian. Among them was Trow Brown, Sr., a democrat running for lieutenant governor.
"I'm here to celebrate a Mississippi hero. Someone who is a champion of veterans rights," said Brown. "Someone who fought for veterans and had a sincere love not just for his country but the state of Mississippi. I would be remiss if I weren't here to be a part of this. I'm just happy to be here."