HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg 36th annual Veterans Day services continued despite rainy weather.
Hundreds of people filled the streets to see the veterans parade on Hardy Street. Organizers say they are thankful the rain held long enough for the parade to continue.
“If it’s the color guard, the Grand Marshal, and the fire truck, we were going to have a parade at 10 o’clock,” said Veteran of the Year Gary Iverson.
Iverson was named the title during the Veterans Day program, which was moved inside the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center, following the parade.
Veterans in attendance say seeing everyone in attendance young and old reminded them of how proud they are to have been able to serve our country.
“I remember as a child seeing someone wear a hat just like this and I was impressed,” said Representative of House District 104 and veteran Larry Byrd. “I realized that those people were people who had given something special for us.”
Veterans of all wars were honored with a salute to the 100th anniversary to the ending of the World War I.
While the program was moved indoors, the message remained the same.
“Less than 1 percent of this country serve in the uniform and the rights that we have are because of the people that stand up and have served,” said Iverson. “If you know a veteran or recognize someone as a veteran, shake their hand and tell them thank you.”
Several of those in attendance say even though they are honored by the recognition, they want their journey to be a lesson not just for the younger generations but those that are willing to stand up and fight.
“Just stick it out because if I hadn’t of stuck it out, I wouldn’t be standing here today,” said Grand Marshal of the Veterans Parade Patricia Thompson.
Following the program was a luncheon and a panel discussion on WWI.