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Veterans Highway' dedication set Thursday

By By Terry R. Cassreino / assistant managing editor
May 29, 2002
After more than a year of planning, local, state and veterans leaders on Thursday will officially designate Highway 19 in Lauderdale County as "Veterans Highway."
And many say it's an honor long deserved.
State lawmakers voted this year to re-name Highway 19 from the Alabama line to the Neshoba County line. Signs with the name were installed last week at both ends of the highway at a cost of $200 each.
On Thursday, local, state and veterans leaders will make the new name official in a formal ceremony on Highway 19 at Bonita Lakes.
Among those expected to attend are former U.S. Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering and state Sen. Videt Carmichael.
Also attending will be representatives of the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans. They will present a new, 15-passenger, 2002 Ford van to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Jackson.
The van will take patients from the VA clinic in Meridian to the VA hospital. The van will be one of the first vehicles to travel on the highway following the formal dedication.
Carmichael said he began working on legislation to re-name Highway 19 about a year ago. He then followed the proposal closely through the state Senate and state House.
Florey agreed.
Originally, Florey said, he and others looked into re-naming a city street to honor veterans. Then, he said, they thought about re-naming Highway 39 because it leads to Naval Air Station Meridian.
They settled on Highway 19 because it traveled across Lauderdale County.