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Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Airmen from Columbus Air Force Base Honor Guard march in formation followed by members of the Columbus High School Air Force Junior ROTC during the Veterans Day Parade Nov. 10, 2018, in Columbus, Mississippi. Organizations from Lowndes County, the city of Columbus and Columbus AFB participated in a parade down Main Street and hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Lowndes County Courthouse Nov. 10 to honor America’s veterans past and present. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Fire prevention mascot Sparky and Airmen from the 14th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department wave to people during the Veterans Day parade Nov. 10, 2018, in Columbus, Mississippi. Also participating in the parade from Columbus AFB were the 43rd Flying Training Squadron’s ‘Bama Bird,’ riders from Columbus AFB’s Chapter of the Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club, and marching formations representing the 14th Flying Training Wing and Columbus AFB Honor Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Airmen from Columbus Air Force Base march in formation during the Veterans Day Parade Nov. 10, 2018, in Columbus, Mississippi. Organizations from Lowndes County, the city of Columbus and Columbus AFB participated in a parade down Main Street and hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Lowndes County Courthouse Nov. 10 to honor America’s veterans past and present. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Members from the West Lowndes High School Air Force Junior ROTC Honor Guard present the colors during the Veterans Day Wreath Laying Ceremony Nov. 10, 2018, at the Lowndes County Courthouse in Columbus, Mississippi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Raymond Hackler and Darnell Madison, Columbus Police Department patrolmen, sing the national anthem during the Veterans Day Wreath Laying Ceremony Nov. 10, 2018, at the Lowndes County Courthouse in Columbus, Mississippi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

First. Lt. Kara Crennan, 14th Flying Training Wing public affairs officer, welcomes people to the Veterans Day Wreath Laying Ceremony Nov. 10, 2018, at the Lowndes County Courthouse in Columbus, Mississippi. The ceremony honored those who have served and are serving in the armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Airman 1st Class Clark Mann, Columbus Air Force Base Honor guard, presents the wreath to Harry Sanders, Lowndes County Supervisor for District 1 and president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors; Bill Gavin, vice mayor of the City of Columbus; Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th FTW commander; and former Private 1st Class Brad Freeman of Caledonia who represented veterans in the local area. Nov. 10, 2018 at the Lowndes County Courthouse in Columbus, Mississippi. The wreath was presented in honor and remembrance of the sacrifices veterans and their families gave in service to the cause of freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Columbus AFB, city host parade, ceremony to celebrate veterans

Airman First Class Clark Mann, Columbus Air Force Base Honor Guard, plays taps during the Veterans Day Wreath Laying Ceremony Nov. 10, 2018, at the Lowndes County Courthouse in Columbus, Mississippi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Organizations from Lowndes County, the city of Columbus and Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, participated in a parade down Main Street and attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Lowndes County Courthouse in Columbus Nov. 10 to honor America’s veterans past and present.

Marching formations from 14th Flying Training Wing and Columbus AFB Honor Guard led the parade and also participating from Columbus AFB were a firetruck from the 14th Civil Engineer Squadron, the 43rd Flying Training Squadron’s ‘Bama Bird,’ and riders from Columbus AFB’s Chapter of the Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club.

A marching formation of more than 30 Airmen representing every group within the 14th FTW was led by Col. Gary Hayward, 14th Mission Support Group commander.

A wreath laying ceremony followed the parade at the courthouse. Again, representatives from the county, city and base came together to honor America’s veterans.

William Quick, American Legion District 4 vice commander, and organizer for the parade and ceremony, said it was good to see the community come together and support America’s veterans.

“They are not alone, they leave their home and they travel all over the country,” Quick said. “There’s people in the community to basically back them and help them out while they’re doing this.”

The ceremony began with the presentation of colors from West Lowndes High School Air Force Junior ROTC Honor Guard and patrolmen Raymond Hackler and Darnell Madison from the Columbus Police Department, sang the national anthem.

A wreath was also laid at the Lowndes County Courthouse Veterans Memorial. Laying the wreath and representing Columbus AFB was Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th FTW commander, and representing veterans in the local area was former Private 1st Class Brad Freeman of Caledonia. They were also accompanied by Harry Sanders, Lowndes County Supervisor for District 1 and president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, who represented all Lowndes County residents; and Bill Gavin, vice mayor of the City of Columbus, who represented all Columbus residents.

Freeman, a former member of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 101st Airborne Division, was one of the Soldiers who parachuted in behind enemy lines before the D-Day invasion during World War II. His company is the one portrayed in the TV series, “Band of Brothers.”

Freeman said he was a part of a “real good outfit,” during his time in the Army and likes honoring those who have served.

The ceremony was wrapped up with a moment of silence followed by a T-1A Jayhawk formation flyover from the 48th Flying Training Squadron.

Reflecting on the day’s events, Quick said it was good to see how times have changed since his time in the Marine Corps. Quick was served in the Marine Corps from 1967-1971 and was in Vietnam from 1970-1971.

“When we came back it was a different time and a different war,” Quick said. “When we came back it wasn’t like this, I’m glad today we can support our troops.”