Sen. Jenifer Branning, Cecil Hooker and Rep. Scott Bounds at the Veterans Day program.
Sen. Jenifer Branning, Cecil Hooker and Rep. Scott Bounds at the Veterans Day program.
State Sen. Jenifer Branning of Philadelphia told a crowd at the Veterans Day program in DeWeese Park Friday that the sacrifices made by our veterans are "incomprehensible, but have given us the ability and the freedom to gather here today."

She told the story of Corporal DaKota Meyer who saved the lives of 36 fellow Marines under fire from the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009.

"No doubt, there are similar stories of bravery among the veterans that are present among us today," Branning said.

She told the crowd gathered for the annual program that sacrifices made by veterans “have given us the ability to conduct peaceful lives, to raise our families without fear and to practice our religious beliefs as we so desire.”

Branning said it was important to not take those privileges for granted.

“I want to be careful to show the highest honor and appreciation for our veterans, not just today but everyday.”

Vietnam veteran Tom Vuncannon and his wife Madeline were among those in attendance Friday.

He is Commander of American Legion Post 138.

He served in the Air Force for about 20 years, spending time in Japan, Korea, Spain, Turkey, Germany and Panama.

“Today is a day to pay attention and honor all those who have served,” Vuncannon said. “About 25 million served over the years, spending time away from their families and all the inconveniences they suffered.”

Vuncannon said Memorial Day was the day to remember those who have fallen but Friday was the day for veterans.

Ray Crocker was master of ceremonies for the program which began at 11 a.m. Jaiden Moore sang the national anthem and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Staff Sgt. Tony Stewart, now retired, gave the devotional.

Rep. Scott Bounds introduced Branning.

Matthew Smith and Dylan Dubose of the Philadelphia High School Band played taps.

The Neshoba Central Junior ROTC presented the colors.

Wreaths were placed at the memorial by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Carson Bounds Post 4396, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 677, American Legion Post 138 and Ladies Auxiliary and American Legion Post 238.