The Coast will celebrate Veterans Day this weekend with ceremonies Friday and Saturday throughout South Mississippi.
Veterans Day is a national holiday celebrated annually on Nov. 11 that marks the end of World War I.
Memorial events honor past and present veterans, as well as current military.
Friday, Nov. 10
Armed Forces Retirement Home Open House
The Armed Forces Retirement Home, 1800 E. Beach Blvd., Gulfport, will hold a ceremony and Open House from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.
▪ 8:30 a.m. – Gates Open to the Public
▪ 8:40 a.m. – Patriot Guard Motorcycles Arrive
▪ 8:50 a.m. – Harrison County Sheriff Helicopter Landing
▪ 9 a.m. – United States Coast Guard Helicopter Landing
▪ 9:10 a.m. – Ochsner Hospital Helicopter Landing
▪ 9:15 a.m. – Gulfport High Band Pre-Ceremony Music
▪ 9:30 a.m. – Veterans Day Ceremony & USMC Birthday Celebration Begins Keynote Speaker Fred W. Haise, Former Apollo 13 Astronaut
▪ 10 a.m. – Musical Performance by Anniston Elementary 1st Grade Students
▪ 10:15 a.m. – Harrison County Sheriff K-9 Unit Demonstration
▪ 10:30 a.m. – MS Highway Patrol Rollover Demonstration
▪ 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.– Static Displays, Presentations and Art Display
Displays: U.S. Coast Guard, Gulfport Police and Fire Departments, Gulfport SWAT Team, Biloxi Police Department, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, NCBC, Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, AMR, U.S. Coast Guard, MDOT and more.
AFRH Resident Art Exhibitors will be in the Main Hall and Art Room areas. Resident’s art work and crafts will be available for purchase.
▪ 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – AFRH tours every 30 minutes (Meet at Security Desk)
▪ 10:30 a.m. – H.O.G. Pensacola, Florida Motorcycles Arrive
▪ 1:30 p.m. – AFRH-G Gate closes to Public Access
▪ 2 p.m. – AFRH-G Veterans Day conclusion
Veterans Day Celebration – Perkinston Campus
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston Campus, 51 Main St., Perkinston, will host a Veterans Day Tribute at the flag pole at noon Friday.
During the event, there will be a ceremonial raising of the flag by a military color guard and wreath-laying with “Taps.” There will also be performances by Mississippi Sound, the Perkettes, and a Band of Gold parade. This is also, $5 Fried Fish Friday, so plan to stay and eat lunch.
Saturday, Nov. 11
Gulf Coast Veterans Parade
The 17th annual Gulf Coast Veterans Parade honors and celebrates the nation’s armed forces with a Red White and Blue Festival 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday on the Town Green, 710 Beach Blvd., Biloxi.
The event includes a parade, music, arts and crafts vendors and food.
The Grand Marshal of the parade will be Master Chief Dick Wade, USN (Ret.).
The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will travel from Caillavet Street to Howard Avenue. There will be floats and Military units, high school Junior ROTC units, local high school bands and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will march the streets.
The Keesler Ensemble will perform the national anthem. The Mississippi Math & Science High School Blue Notes Choral Group also will perform, as will the Mississippi Jazz Ensemble.
In addition, the event will recognize the 75th anniversary of the SeaBees and give special recognition to World War II veterans.
Jackson County Veterans Day program
The 17th annual Jackson County Veterans Day Program will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at the Moss Point Veterans Day Memorial, 4320 McInnis Ave., Moss Point.
The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce hosts the event. This year’s theme, “Freedom is not free,” calls attention to the sacrifices made by all veterans past and present. Special attention is given to POWs and MIAs and the program also includes a 21-gun salute.
The keynote speaker is Capt. Torrey M. Garrison, who serves as a chaplain in the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base.
Garrison promotes the free exercise of religion for more than 4,000 personnel and students. He began his military service with five years in the Coast Guard.
Speakers will include Carla Todd Voda, Amy Brandenstein, Mayor Mario King of Moss Point, and Victoria Todd. The Moss Point High School Jazz Band will provide music.
A presentation of the wreath for the fallen will honor the following soldiers: Maj. Michael Green, Army; Master Sgt. Scott E. Pruitt, Marine Corps; Master Sgt. Coater DeBose, Army; Sgt. 1st Class Sean M. Cooley, Army; and Sgt. Terrance D. Lee Sr., Army.
Laying of the Wreath Ceremony
Gautier will hold its annual Laying of the Wreath Ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday to honor veterans and those serving in the military. It is held at the Veterans Tribute Tower at Gautier City Hall, 3330 U.S. 90, Gautier.
The keynote speaker will be Navy Comdr. John P. Letourneau. Sen. Brice Wiggins also will speak. Other presenters will be Vice Comm. Bill Whatley, Chaplin Flo Henderickson and Mayor Phil Torjusen. The Gautier High School NJROTC will present colors and students of Gautier Elementary School will sing.
A luncheon will follow at the American Legion Post 1992, 3824 Old Spanish Trail.
Admission is free for all of these events.