The East Mississippi Veterans Memorial Park has been underway as the first installment has been made, which is the F-4 Phantom jet. The Meridian Chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars continues to thank those who helped bring the jet to its final resting place. Today they held a short ceremony to thank the National Guard Fire Department for their participation.
"Today, it is our honor and privilege to award the Fire Department at Key Field for their participation in bringing our F-4 Phantom home which is sitting behind me on that pedestal and is a beautiful and wonderful thing that belongs here in Meridian. And we were able to get it back in Meridian, and the Fire Department did a wonderful job," stated Richard Lancaster.
The jet has been completed with final paint details and also features four names, two on each side of the jet Smith tells us what the names signify.
"The four names that are on the cockpits that you see up there represent the two crews. We lost two airplanes in the time that we had the airplanes in Alabama. They are the names of both pilots and both weapon system operators. And we put them on there to honor them and their families," said Quartermaster Danny Smith.
Underneath the jet, there are currently some slight constructions taking place that Smith says a sidewalk will be added.
"We're putting in sidewalks for the patrons who want to walk around the airplane. Plus, in the middle of it, there'll be crushed gravel. We're going to have a monument that depicts the history of the aircraft. It's one of those things that you see at the parks in front and give you the history of the airplane, the people that flew it," said Smith.
There will be a Ceremonial Grand OSeptemberpening of the jet on September 27th that Smith says everyone is invited to attend.