Hundreds show support for veterans at Trail of Honor - - Jackson, MS

Hundreds show support for veterans at Trail of Honor

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Trail of Honor is a half-mile long route with reenactments for every U.S. military conflict starting in 1812, and going all the way to present day. The walking trail is accompanied by huge celebrations, honoring American veterans and Gold Star Families.

David McElroy spent 24 years in the Air Force.

"To defend the constitution, with your life if required, that never leaves you," said McElroy, who was part of Desert Storm.

This weekend, McElroy served as Director in the Trail of Honor's 16th year in Jackson.

"The pride in the American spirit, and the people that want to be a part, that call and want to volunteer, want to donate, and just want to play a part in what we're trying to do, and that is: pay tribute to America's veterans," added McElroy.

The people who do volunteer love the event each year. For instance, McElroy's been working with Patrick Lampton since Lampton was about knee-high.

"We've got canister round, a big shotgun shell; 28 little lead balls, about like that," said Benjamin Patrick Lampton, who's been a reenactment volunteer for eleven years now. "I started meeting the Medal of Honor recipients and understanding what they did, and getting close to my father as a Vietnam vet. We don't get paid. It's not that we want to dress up and shoot guns, it's for the veterans!"

The event includes more than the half-mile walking trail. Actual retired military helicopters from the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation accompanied a motorcade from Clinton to Jackson. And the subjects of the movie "Act of Valor" showed off two naval crafts they actually use.

"Reflecting on the history, our history, showing people the future developments, where their taxpayer dollars go; not only that but inspiring the kids," said Jesse Hauze, part of SV1.

But the tribute is focused around one thing: The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.

"You walk into this clearing, and you see that somber black monument with the white etched names and the whole mood changes," explained McElroy.

If you want to check it out, the Trail of Honor is open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"We love coming out here. We love the people, we hope they come out," added Lampton. "We want them to come here and touch history, we want them to ask questions. And we try to make it as fun as possible." 

There is also a "Run for the Wall Ride" Monday, May 21st.

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