MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A large crowd packed the Graham Gymnasium at Meridian Community College for MCC's annual Veterans Day program.
The full house didn't surprise NAS Meridian Commander John-Paul Falardeau who also served as the program's guest speaker.
"Meridian always has a way of turning out to support its military in the local community,” said Falardeau. “I tell my sailors all the time we couldn't be in a more patriotic, supportive environment here and events like this really make that obvious to us."
Veteran Tommy Cook said he enjoyed the program and expresses his military pride.
"What an honor to serve!” said Cook.
Seated near Cook at the program was Air Force veteran, Bill Semmes, who said he enjoys attending events like this annually.
"To show the veterans how much everyone appreciates them… that was shown here today,” said Semmes. “So I believe that's a good thing to do every year."
Community members and students like Haylea Kirkland sat among the veterans in attendance.
"It was really educational. I enjoyed hearing about everybody and it was a great honor to be around people that have been in the military because I’m not around them too much,” said Kirkland.
The MCC Concert Choir sang “Stand with the Brave” during a special part of the program.
"I really enjoyed the choir and how they all came together,” said Kirkland. “That one gave me the chills. I loved that."
As Commander Falardeau addressed the crowd, he said Veterans Day is about hope, a hope that the sacrifices military men and women make will result in a better world.