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Pontotoc and Saltillo celebrate Veterans Day

Veterans Day, a special day in America when we pay tribute to those who served in the military. How do we honor our vets? Two special tributes to those we salute.

Posted: Nov 10, 2017 7:03 PM
Updated: Nov 10, 2017 7:09 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE - Veterans Day officially is Saturday, November 11. But in much of the country, it was observed Friday. That was the case in Pontotoc and Saltillo, where citizens gathered to salute those who have served our country in the past. WTVA's Mike Russell ventured out to both cities - and shows us how vets were honored "Southern Style."

PONTOTOC/SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) - Veterans day, a special day in America when we pay tribute to those who served in the military. It coincides with Armistice Day, the end of World War 1, 99 years ago, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.


A commemorative bell rang out loud and clear. Eleven bells for November 11, Veterans Day Saturday, observed Friday. In Pontotoc, things started off early with a breakfast for veterans at the Community House. There I met Louis Johnson, an Army veteran, 96 years old. He survived D-Day at Normandy in World War 2. He fought in Korea, and he survived three tours in Vietnam. He has five Purple Hearts, and he's the oldest living veteran in Pontotoc County.

"I love my country," says Johnson. "I joined when I was 18 years old, I stayed 42 years. I could have got out at 30, but I loved it, and I stayed with them.

At the appointed hour, what many were waiting for -- the Pontotoc Veterans Day parade through the middle of town all the way to courthouse square. People were lined up on both sides of the street to pay their respects -- and all veterans, including Johnson, were invited to ride in the parade itself.  Afterward, dignitaries and citizens gathered in the square for a patriotic salute - and music from three different children's choirs.

At Saltillo High School, on the other hand, it was more of a musical salute. Veterans and students gathered in the gym for patriotic music, and every vet in attendance was recognized. Lieutenant Colonel Rob Edwards of the Army National Guard delivered a special message. And the Saltillo Chorale sang "God Bless the USA."

As a veteran myself, it’s hard not to be moved by the outpouring of respect for those who served in the military. On the other hand, I never saw combat. And so to those who did, particularly those like Mr. Johnson, I say on this Veterans Day, "thank you" for your service and your sacrifice.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
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Lee480294
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Forrest367185
Jones344687
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Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
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Union160125
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Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
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Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
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Walker349096
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Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
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Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
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Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
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Greene40217
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