Memorial Day events planned for Monday

Published 10:57 am Friday, May 22, 2015

Vicksburg’s historic military past makes it is an ideal place to appreciate members of the military who risk their lives to fight for the freedom of American citizens and their country.

The 36th Annual Memorial Day Service begins Monday and is sponsored by the Vicksburg-Warren County Memorial Day Committee and American Legion Tyner-Ford Post’s No. 3 and 213. This year’s theme is “Lest We Forget.”

Memorial Day Activities begin at 9 a.m. with a line up on Belmont Street. At 10 a.m. the parade of veterans will begin. The Parade route runs north along Washington Street to Jackson Street.

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“I feel strongly about recognizing our veterans,” said Willie Glasper, Chairperson for the Memorial Day committee.

Glasper has been involved with the Memorial Day committee for 36 years. Glasper said that the community should give veterans all the recognition and appreciation they can.

“Memorial Day is the day we memorialize those who have lost their lives, and at the same time recognizing those who have served and are serving,” Glasper said.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. at the Vicksburg City Auditorium featuring keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Donna R. Williams. Williams is a native of Vicksburg and earned her commission through the Army ROTC Early Commissioning Program at Jackson State University in 1990.

Williams received many awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal among many others. Williams served as a Civil Engineer in the 412th Engineer Command and deployed to Baghdad in May 2006 for year as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The memorial service will recognize veterans who participated in wars and conflicts from World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada and Somalia. Ex-prisoners of war will be recognized as well.

The ceremony begins with a motorcade from Vicksburg City Auditorium to the National Cemetery.

After the motorcade a march to the national cemetery, a color salute to veteran’s organization will occur. Pastor Robert Andrew will lead a pray before the laying of wreaths.

The 412th Engineer Command will perform a 21-gun salute, followed by taps by Elias Arrendendo to finish the ceremony.

“Our Veterans are just warriors returning home,” said Eva Ford, president of the American Legion Auxiliary.  Ford knows the importance of taking care of veterans and said they deserve to be treated better.

“It’s important that the city of Vicksburg remember the soldiers as a whole. The Civil War was fought and ended here, and little is done to show appreciation for them,” Ford said.