Keesler, Gulf Coast communities celebrate Veterans Day

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sarah Loicano

Keesler leadership and base personnel participated in the 18th annual Gulf Coast Veterans Day parade celebration in Gulfport, Miss., Nov. 10.

"It's an absolute honor to be a part of this parade today, and a part of this community," said Col. Lance Burnett, 81st Training Wing vice commander. "There's not anything we couldn't do at Keesler without the support of the community."

Created as a way to recognize and honor veterans in the Gulf Coast communities, parade committee president Mary Ellen Landry said events like the parade are more important than ever to bring military and civilian communities together.

“The community is unbelievable in their support, just absolutely wonderful,” she said. “We couldn’t do this this parade without the support from the military bases. I’m not military myself but I want to thank them. They stand up when others don’t.”

The largest Veterans Day parade in the southeastern U.S., the parade featured more than 70 marching groups, floats, Junior ROTC drill teams, military formations and community and civic organizations. Representing Keesler were Second Air Force, 81st Training Wing and group commanders, the 403th Wing vice-commander, the 81st Training Group Blue Knight Drum and Bugle Corps, 81st Training Group 50 State flag mass and marching flights from the 334th and 366th Training Squadrons and Keesler Honor Guard, among others.

Parade attendee Kim Doe said her family, including father, uncles and her husband’s family, were all veterans.

“It’s important for our family to watch and attend to say thank you,” Doe said.

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