Corps general, Port Gibson native Gant to speak at Veterans Day observance

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Port Gibson native Brig. Gen. Antoinette “Toni” Gant, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division and the first African American woman to ever serve at that level in the history of the Corps, will be the featured speaker for Vicksburg’s annual Veterans Day observance on Friday.

Gant will deliver a Veterans Day message for the event, which is sponsored by American Legion Tyner-Ford Post 213, Sons of the American Legion Post 213 and American Legion Allein Post 3.

The Veterans Day events begin at 7:30 a.m. with a free Liberty Breakfast for veterans at the Vicksburg High School Army JROTC Building, 1000 Lee St., followed at 10 a.m. by a parade starting on Belmont Street and going north on Washington Street to Jackson Street, where it will disband.

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The Veterans Day program is set for 11 a.m., followed by a lunch for veterans at the Post 3 hall at noon.

This year’s program marks the event’s return to the city of Vicksburg’s Memorial Rose Garden after a two-year absence.

“We are glad to have our Veterans Day program back at the Rose Garden,” organizer Willie Glasper said. “We wanted to have it there last year, but there was a storm going through the area and we had to change the location at the last minute.”

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced organizers to hold a virtual observance, while inclement weather forced the observance inside at Post 3 in 2021.

The program at the Rose Garden at the intersection of Monroe and South streets will also feature post commanders laying wreaths, the playing of taps and a 21-gun salute to honor deceased veterans.

A graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, Gant has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in engineer management from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Before becoming commander of the Corps’ Pacific Division, she was commander of the Corps’ South Pacific Border district from July 2020 to June 2021. She is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Engineer Association Silver de Fleury Medal.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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