Concordia, Natchez plan events to honor area veterans

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2000

Miss-Lou veterans will celebrate Veteran’s Day with a parade, a memorial service and an exhibit of World War II memorabilia this weekend.

A collection of World War II items will be open to the public free of charge from 3 to 5 p.m. today at the Ramada Inn Hilltop.

The collection includes pictures and other World War II items that belong to Harry Doug Tanner of Sulfar.

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&uot;He has some rare, rare items that he has personally collected,&uot; said Mark LaFrancis, who is helping to publicize the event.

The Eighth Airforce Veterans Association of Mississippi is holding a reunion in Natchez this weekend and will be taking part in the local events.

Homer King of Natchez, a veteran of the Eighth Airforce, said none of the veterans consider themselves heroes but they want others to remember the wars. &uot;It’s the first Veteran’s Day of the new millennium and we don’t want (the public) to forget what we did,&uot; He said.

This is not for the glory of the veterans but to prevent history from repeating itself, King said. &uot;None of us did anything but what an American would do to save his home,&uot; he said.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Broadway in downtown Natchez and march up Main Street to Memorial Park

In addition to local veteran’s groups and bands, the parade will also include a model of a B-17 Bomber made by Phil McGuire of Macon.

The parade marshal will be retired Maj. Gen. Robert Burns, who who lead the parade in a World War II Jeep and give a speech at Memorial Park

On Saturday, a book signing will take place from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Ramada Inn Hilltop for the book, &uot;Mississippians in the Mighty 8th.&uot;

Members of the Mighty 8th will hold a memorial service at 8 a.m. Sunday at Natchez City Cemetery in memory of members of the unit buried there.

A Veterans’ Day ceremony, complete with a &uot;Celebration of Freedom&uot; balloon release, will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Comer Funeral Home in Ferriday.

&uot;We are pleased and proud to be involved in this effort,&uot; said George Comer, owner of the funeral home.

&uot;Recognition of those who gave so much in World War II is long overdue.&uot;

Keynote speaker Russ Caso, deputy of director of business development and marketing for the Information Technology Center of New Orleans, will give an update on efforts to erect a monument for World War II veterans.

Ground will be broken that day in Washington, D.C., for the National World War II Memorial.

The event will also include remarks by state Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday, and a welcome by Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin.

Then at 1 p.m., balloons will be released at Comer Funeral Home and hundreds of other funeral homes throughout the nation, said Funeral Director David Boydstun.

For a $10 donation, the name of a person who served during World War II will be written on one of the balloons.

The event is being held as part of a nationwide &uot;Celebration of Freedom&uot;&160;fund-raising campaign being sponsored by the National Funeral Directors Association to honor those who helped win World War II.