City honors veterans

Published 12:52 am Sunday, November 11, 2007

NATCHEZ — Annie Edwards stood on the downtown sidewalk Saturday waving at the fire trucks and ROTC members marching down the street.

Edwards retired from the Army in 2002 after 23 years of service. For the Natchez resident, having pride in the nation’s veterans is important, but showing it is, too.

“Every time they have a parade, I’m here,” Edwards said.

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This year was the first in several that the city has had a Veterans Day parade

Edwards joined clusters of onlookers that watched bands and color guards parade up Franklin Street.

“Veterans Day is near and dear to my heart,” Edwards said. “People can see and recognize the people who have served. I think it’s an honorable event.”

Vince Barbieri, who served two tours in Vietnam, and his wife, Bobbie, were also onlookers.

“People tend to forget veterans, and the parade is a good reminder,” Bobbie Barbieri said.

Veteran John Kerwin marched near the front of the parade.

“I was carrying our flag,” Kerwin said. “As I passed by, I saw people saluting it, paying respect. I felt there was hope for us yet.”

A short service at Memorial Park after the parade paid tribute to those who speaker the Rev. LeRoy White said sometimes go unappreciated.

“Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor the contributions of our living veterans,” White said. “For those who serve, every day is armed forces day.”

Adams County Veterans Service Officer Erle Drane, who helped organize the parade, said he thought it was a success.

“We had a wonderful turnout (of marchers),” Drane said.

And although the parade might not draw the Mardi Gras-sized crowds, those who attend are especially valued, he said.

“The people you see on the street are those who really appreciate veterans,” he said.