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  • Celeste Smith

Local veterans celebrate Veterans Day in downtown Meridian

Updated: Nov 12

In Meridian, a series of Veterans Day events were held to celebrate and recognize local veterans for the time they served in the military.

Today, many local veterans gathered in front of the Doughboy Monument in downtown Meridian to kick off a full day of Veterans Day celebratory events.

Local veterans were able to watch the Veterans Day Ceremony in front of the Doughboy Monument, grab a free "to go" fried chicken lunch from the VFW post 79, and watch a Veterans Day parade in downtown to wrap up the day’s events. Van McCarty, chairman of the Veterans Day planning committee, shared that he was glad the committee was still able to hold today’s events to honor local veterans, despite challenges presented by the pandemic.

“ The committee that’s responsible for the Veterans Day program, of course also dfoes the Memorial Day program, back in May we had to cancel it this year. So, we’re just exited to be down here circulating among other veterans, and sharing a little comraderie as we put on our veterans day ceremony here at the doughboy monument,” said Van McCarty.

He also said that thanks to social distancing, and being outdoors, the committee believed the events could be held safely.

“Well we’ve just sort of been rolling wioth the punches, but we feel like with space available down here around the doughboy monument, and on to the lawn at city hall, we have ample room for people to kind of be careful,” said McCarty.

One local veteran shared that he was glad to have the opportunity to participate in this year’s Veterans Day events.

“It means a lot. It means a great aspiration, just to see some. I may not know them, but just to see their faces, and it brings back memories. It also brings joy, to just know that people still care for us and that makes us feel good, just to show the attitude that they have a great aspiration for us, and that makes us feel great,” said Rufus Griggs, Army veteran.

The Meridian and Lauderdale County Veterans day planning committee shared that they are looking for volunteers to assist with the planning of next year’s Veterans Day events.