• 61°

Veterans Day Parade: Bring the whole family out to support our troops and veterans on November 8

On Thursday, November 11, we will celebrate Veterans Day, a national holiday saluting American veterans of all wars.

Over the past year and half, the Picayune Item has been saluting the men and women of Pearl River County that have bravely fought for their country and our freedom — they answered the “Call to Arms.”

Some stories spoke of mere boys who lied about their ages, kissed their mother’s good-bye and went off to battle. Some were of women who filled desk jobs to free men for combat. Some flew planes on dangerous missions. Some marched across fields, mountains and deserts after they were specially trained in hand to hand combat.

Some of the stories were tear jerking, some thought provoking and yet others left you numb. Some of the stories did not even come from the veterans themselves as these men and women have long since left this earth. But all of the stories are timeless, and will hopefully be read and reread for many generations to come.

Here are some of the names of the men and women whose memories we have shared in our Sunday “Call to Arms” section:

Carl Holloway, Dick Castleberry, John A. Simms, James Mitchell, Dr. Stanley J. Watson, W. B. Sheffield, Roy Gjertson, Lemuel Pearson, Paul Nichols, Dr. Ray Mitchell, John Wilson, Robert “Bob” Gieger, Gladys Hughes, Hughie Hughes, William “Bill” Wilson, Ted Finch, Al Chrisman, Rupert Malone, Buddy Bounds, Majorie Wright, Earl Stuart, Ottis Penton, Joseph B. Bourgeois, Jr., John H. Napier III, Vernon T. Miller, James Livaudais and Michael G. Spencer.

On Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m. the community is invited to help continue the celebration of these brave men and women, and our local troops by attending the Veterans Day Parade sponsored by NJROTC and The Mississippi Coast Watchers, MCW — a group of veterans that restore antique military vehicles.

The parade will follow Goodyear Blvd. to Main Street, then West Canal, ending back on Goodyear Blvd.

All veterans and current military are invited to come out and be honored in the celebration.

Bring the whole family to this annual parade. Children are encouraged to bring sacks to store the goodies that will be thrown from the antique military vehicles as they parade through town.

Veterans day is celebrated nationally, every year on November 11, no matter which day of the week it falls on. It is this way because of a hope and a challenge set forth in a letter written by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on October 8, 1954. The letter was addressed to Harvey V. Higley, then Administrator of Veteran’s Affairs. In the letter the President designated Higley as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee. He wrote, “It is my earnest hope that all veterans, their organizations and the entire citizenry will join hands to insure proper and widespread observance of [Veterans Day]… I have every confidence that our Nation will respond wholeheartedly in the appropriate observance of Veterans Day, 1954.”

It is this wish we carry forward every year in our hearts for our men and women of the United States military. Please come out and join in the Picayune Veterans Day Parade, a very patriotic and family friendly celebration, 2 p.m., Saturday, November 8 in downtown Picayune.

To learn more about the history and origin of Veteran’s Day, visit www.va.gov/vetsday

Sources for this article include U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website and the Picayune Item. For more information, visit www.va.gov/vetsday