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Veterans Highway' designated

By Staff
SALUTE Veterans Marvin Weir, left, Neil Rollins, Leroy Morse and J.W. Lewis salute while Meridian's Ginger Grissom Stevens sings the national anthem on Thursday during dedication ceremonies for "Veterans Highway". Photo by Carisa McCain/ The Meridian Star
By Chris Whitaker / staff writer
May 31, 2002
An 18-month effort to designate Highway 19 through Lauderdale County as "Veterans Highway" reached fruition Thursday, and not even Mother Nature could ruin a display of patriotic spirit.
The ceremony, initially planned for outdoors, was moved to the Lauderdale County Agri-Center as rain peppered the area.
Florey, who represents District 1, said several highways were under initial consideration, including Highway 39, which runs to Naval Air Station Meridian. But it already had two names. Highway 19 was eventually designated by legislative act because it runs diagonally across the county.
Workers with the Mississippi Department of Transportation have placed new signs on Highway 19 at both ends of the county  at the Neshoba County-Lauderdale County line to the north and the Mississippi-Alabama state line to the south.
Veterans who attended the dedication were delighted.
Marvin Weir, a local veterans' leader and officer of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 79, said he was gratified by the effort to showcase the contributions of American veterans to the country's security.
State Sen. Videt Carmichael, R-Meridian, authored the bill to authorize the designation and guided it through the Mississippi Legislature.
Carmichael quoted Army Gen. George C. Patton. saying, "After a man gives their best, what else is there?"
Jimmy Reece, commander of Post 56, of the Disabled American Veterans, presented Deborah Thomas of the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Jackson a 15-passenger Ford van. Thomas said the specially-equipped vehicle, which cost nearly $25,000, will be used to transport veterans from Meridian to medical appointments.