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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Veterans Memorial District to honor local veterans during annual Memorial Celebration

Veterans Memorial District to honor local veterans during annual Memorial Celebration

A somber feeling of indebtedness overcomes you when you visit the Veterans Memorial Wall on Highway 3235. You cannot miss the large-scale inscription at the forefront which reads “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE."

Many who drive along 3235 know the landmark well but may not know its inclusions intimately. As cars drive by many will make a silent reminder to go or mention to a car passenger how they have always wanted to stop but forget or never seem to have the time. This dedicated place of heroes is more than deserving and well worth a special trip.

The Veterans Memorial District will hold their annual Veterans Memorial Celebration to pay tribute to our very own South Lafourche Veterans and Heroes Saturday, May 27th at 10:30 a.m. at the Memorial Wall located at 16937 Hwy. 3235 in Cut Off.

Courageous souls from 12 wars beginning with the war of 1812 up to and including the 2014 War in Afghanistan are listed on the wall reflecting lives lost which are mourned but also celebrated here. At one time each of these members of the armed forces lived right here in South Lafourche and walked the very streets lining Bayou Lafourche that most of us travel daily.

These fearless members of our nation’s military forces bravely fought and many gave their lives for our freedom. There is a real probability that names throughout the memorial could very well be related to someone you know whether it be a friend, a neighbor, a coworker or even from your family lineage.

There is much more to see at the Veterans Wall than what is visible from the roadway. A beautiful water fountain dedicated to the Navy, which is peaceful and proud, lies on the other side of the wall.

Beyond the fountain is an accessible gated area known as the "Field of Tears." With two newly appointed eagles watching over its entrance, this tranquil section is devoted to those killed in action during their service. A large gazebo and sitting area are at its center, and four flags remain at half-mast in honor of the soldiers’ ultimate sacrifice.

Many use this area for jogging or walking. While walking your eyes are drawn to every memorial stone. Each one reflecting the picture of a local member of the military with their name, the war fought and where they laid their lives down for our freedom.

It makes a tremendous impression to put a name to a face and stare into the eyes etched in stone.

Veteran Board Member George St. Pierre, who is 91 years old, stated: "Some of the names in the Field of Tears is especially sentimental to him because of being stationed in the same area as some who had fallen and are now in the Field of Tears."

As you turn to leave, you cannot help but hear the United States and POW MIA flags whipping against the blue sky. These beautiful flags are demanding your attention bringing you to an about face to take in the more than 3000 names listed within its confines. It is as if each name honored reaches out to remind you of a warrior’s ultimate sacrifice.

There are now seven new statues which have recently been erected including two kneeling soldiers, a combat hat with boot and firearm and flying eagles.

The Veterans Memorial District of Ward 10 respectfully request the community’s attendance this Saturday, May 27th at 10:30 a.m. to pay homage to those who fought so valiantly for our freedom. Food and drinks will be served, and the Patriot Guard will be attending along with special guest speakers.

Event tents will be set up with seating for up to 200 people.

Local Pack 333 and Troop 325 will be there to assist with food and drinks for vets who may be disabled. During the memorial celebration families of South Lafourche Veterans who have passed on due to age or medical conditions will be receiving a small flag embossed with a single gold star to commemorate their family member’s service.

Please make plans to attend, whether to thank a veteran for their service or pay homage to those who gave so much.