Veterans Day parade and concert helps honor and heal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Veterans Day parade and concert helps honor and heal

Vietnam veteran Christopher Burch salutes his fellow veterans. (Photo source: WLOX) Vietnam veteran Christopher Burch salutes his fellow veterans. (Photo source: WLOX)
The Long Beach Veterans Day parade and concert drew between 1,000 and 2,000 people. (Photo source: WLOX) The Long Beach Veterans Day parade and concert drew between 1,000 and 2,000 people. (Photo source: WLOX)
LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) -

Christopher Burch served with the Army's 101st Airborne, 3rd Special Forces Group in Camp Evans Vietnam. He doesn't like to talk much about what he saw. The things he did.

He knows one thing: Veterans Day parades, like the one in Long Beach, give him the chance to heal himself by honoring others.

“The reason I come is the recognition of my comrades over there that didn't get to come home,” Burch said. “This is kind of a way of showing that I'll never forget them, you know. It's just something I think I need to do.”

The fourth annual Veterans Day parade, sponsored by the First United Methodist Church, drew around 2,000 people along Jeff Davis Avenue. About 25 volunteers put the program together and provided refreshments.

Representatives from all branches of the military received applause worthy of their heroism. They were joined by scouting organizations and the Long Beach High School band.

Organizer Susan Taylor says it's a church program that has become a community event. The church has been planning this since July.

“It's something we should do to remember our veterans,” Taylor said. “We take the service they provide for granted, the sacrifices they go through. It's something we should do and enjoy doing.”

Like Burch, Sammy Alspaugh, of Gulfport, gives as much as he gets with these events. He served four and a half years with the Marine Corps during Desert Storm.

“It's amazing,” Alspaugh said. “It's just a beautiful country. It's the land of the free because of the brave.”

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