Gautier ceremony honors veterans

Gautier ceremony honors veterans
The ceremony is the only one of its kind in the state of Mississippi. (Photo source: WLOX)

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A ceremony honoring men and women of the United States Armed Forces took place at the Veterans Tribute Tower at Gautier City Hall on Friday.

A chorus of school kids sang patriotic songs, and veterans like Vice Commander Bill Whatley made inspiring speeches about their time in the military and life afterward.

"We at the American Legion are veterans serving veterans. I hope people do that all over country today," said Whatley.

Military veteran and State Representative John Read says is proud to take part in Veterans Day ceremonies each year.

"I was member of reserve, went to boot camp, came back, finished my high school year, graduated on a Thursday, and Monday I was in the Navy," said Read. "I spent three years in the Navy. I was stationed in Key West, Fla. on a submarine rescue vessel, we made two trips to Europe, and all up and down the East Coast, and in the Caribbean."

Veterans who received a Purple Heart were also recognized, and applauded for their service.

"When you go through the valley, some come out the other side, and some don't," Read noted, "Those that don't, you ask not why. Those that come out the other side, if they're wounded, they are decorated," Representative Read noted.

Read and others say they're happy to be part of such a brave group.

"A lot of Purple Heart recipients never see their Purple Heart, they're given to the families," Representative Read added.

The tribute is the only one of its kind in the state of Mississippi.

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