Veterans honored

Published 12:02 am Saturday, November 12, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Korean War veteran Gene Dauphin, right, prays during Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Veterans Day program in the school’s Redd Watkins Career and Technical Center Friday morning.

Editor’s note: The photo caption above originally contained a misspelled name. The name is correct now. We regret the error and are happy to set the record straight.

NATCHEZ — From the lakes of Minnesota to the bluffs of Natchez, the community honored all veterans Friday during the annual Copiah-Lincoln Community College Salute to Veterans program.

The program featured a posting of the colors by Natchez High School’s Jr. ROTC program, a short film and guest speaker Lt. William Darnell of the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Darnell is a member of the S4 1st 155th combined arms battalion serving out of McComb and said he was honored to be invited to speak at the program.

“It was wonderful to see such a large turnout of the local veterans and community as a whole,” Darnell said. “It was just an honor being here I thought it was an excellent program.”

Copiah-Lincoln President Dr. Ronnie Nettles said the program means a lot to him and his college.

“The day is important, but it’s something you need to have a commitment to throughout the year,” Nettles said. “It gives us an opportunity to reach out and do something for the community.”

Mark LaFrancis, director of public information and Air Force veteran, said there was only word to sum up the ceremony.

“Proud,” LaFrancis said. “It’s always gratifying to pay tribute to veterans who often aren’t paid enough tribute,” LaFrancis said.

LaFrancis also organizes an American flag retirement ceremony for old flags. In accordance with the U.S. Flag Code, LaFrancis burns flags that are “no longer a fitting emblem for display.”

The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. today at Copiah-Lincoln.