EMCC hears from WWII veteran

Staff Writer

Veterans, area residents and East Mississippi Community College students gathered to hear from a local World War II veteran at the Golden Triangle Campus’ “Proud to Be an American” event on Thursday.

Mark Gordon Hazard, 93, a retired U.S. Army officer who served in the European Theatre of the war shared some of his experiences as a soldier, focusing on the magnitude of WWII, and the way it brought people from all walks of life together for a common goal.

He discussed some of the members of his unit, including a soldier from Kentucky who made moonshine before he joined the army, and a Pennsylvania Dutch sergeant who’s German fluency proved invaluable to the outfit.

“The one in charge was a farm boy from Mississippi,” Hazard said. “We had all types of education and backgrounds, but we all liked and respected each other.”

Hazard recounted his story of hearing about the Pearl Harbor attacks while a student at Mississippi State College (now Mississippi State University).

“They bombed us early in the morning, but the way the world turns here it was the middle of the afternoon,” Hazard said. “Somebody came along, and said ‘did you hear what happened?’ We couldn’t believe it, so we got up and started hunting a radio to see if it was true. It was.”