BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - With blue skies above, and Old Glory flying in the wind, the 17th annual Biloxi Veterans Day parade saw hundreds of people line the street with one goal in mind: pay tribute to those who have fought - and continue to fight - for the United States.
People like Iraq veteran John Bingham and World War II veteran Charles Jenkins think it's a great way to honor veterans.
"I feel so honored," Jenkins said. "And I'm so proud to be a Mississippian. I've been all over this world, and I have never had so much honor and respect as I have on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi."
Vets like Harry Bell, a World War II veteran who fought at the Battle of The Bulge, say the way the community honors and respects its veterans is a wonderful thing.
"We really appreciate it," said Bell. "A lot of people in the second, in Vietnam and Korea, didn't get the recognition World War II vets did."
Bingham spent 20 years in the Army and now trains JROTC cadets at D'Iberville High School.
"If we don't show the youth of today how to respect the past of yesterday, we're doomed to fail," said Bingham. "I think the best thing in the world is to be able to teach these young people what it means to honor those who have fought for this country, and that have died for this country, and that will continue to fight for this country."
The parade, which coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Seabees, was emceed by former WLOX anchor Jeff Lawson. Gov. Phil Bryant was also in attendance.
"The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a veteran area in Mississippi that respects and loves its military bases, loves its veterans," said Bryant. "My dad was a Seabee, so I think back to the stories I heard from him how he was in the Marshall Islands as a young 17-year-old Seabee.
He says the Coast military community is the perfect place to celebrate our veterans.
"It is the all American day, when we pulled up and saw these children with their American flags," Bryant said. "We are so fortunate in Mississippi to have a population that continues to respect and honor our military, our flag, and the country. So I'm very honored and proud to be governor of this particularly veteran state."