Meridian Druid Hills UMC service honors military veterans


Veterans at Druid Hills United Methodist Church in Meridian were honored recently with a service devoted entirely to them.

Lay Leader Joan Clay welcomed guests and made announcements. Colors were posted by David Miller and Walter Staniscavage. Gordon Brown, choir director, led the congregation in the pledge to the American flag and the pledge to the Christian flag. He led the congregation in singing the National Anthem and America. Mark Gunn, a member of First Presbyterian Church and a teacher at Meridian Community College sang, His Eye is on the Sparrow and God Bless the USA. Noelle Clay America the Beautiful.

Rose Marie Lucovich read a special tribute to veterans. Madeline Strahan and Gertie Myers presented gifts of appreciation to the 29 veterans present for their service to their country.

Special recognition was given to Cooper Langford and Warren Collins of Druid Hills who earned Purple Hearts during World War II. Langford served from 1942-45. He received five battle stars and the good conduct medal. Collins served from 1942-44. He served in Europe, landing in Sicily. He received the Purple Heart with four stars for battles in which he fought.

Wiley and Madeline Strahan presented Langford and Collins with handmade eagle head canes by the Pearl River Wood Carvers Guild, Inc. They were made from Mississippi wood species — willow, cedar and basswood — and inlaid with a medallions representing their branch of service, as well as a relief carving of the state flower and a replica of the Purple Heart.

The Rev. David Meadows, pastor of Druid Hills UMC, preached on "A Time for Everything." He used scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

The flowers for the Veteran's Day celebration were given by Marcella Langford and her family in honor of Cooper Langford and all the veterans and in memory of those who gave their lives to keep us free.

A celebration dinner was served to members and guests. Twenty-four members of the Langford family were present.