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Veterans Day services offered around Oxford

With Veterans Day this year falling on a Saturday, several services are being held around Oxford on Friday. 

The Community Veterans Day Celebration will kick off at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the National Guard Armory with patriotic music by the Oxford Middle School Band. 

The program will begin at 11 a.m. 

This year’s guest speaker will be Sen. Gray Tollison. 

The annual event is presented by the Oxford Veterans of Foreign War, American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans associations; however, each group rotates each year in planning the event. This year, the American Legion is presenting the program. 

American Legion Commander Dennis Bullard said new this year will be presentations of awards by the veteran organizations. 

“The American Legion will be presenting one for Veteran of the Year to someone who goes above and beyond and is very active in our organization,” Bullard said. 

Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day and marked the end of hostilities of World War I that occurred at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. While Memorial Day also honors veterans, it’s a more somber event as the holiday pays tribute to veterans who have died. 

“Veterans Day is when we celebrate the veterans who came home,” Bullard said. 

Also at 10:30 a.m., a Veterans Day ceremony will be held at the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Oxford with guest speaker Gene Hays, who retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and has authored several military-themed books. An ice cream social with the veterans will be held at 2 p.m. 

Hays will also be speaking at 2 p.m. at The Blake for its Veterans Day Ceremony.