2016 Memorial Day Observance at The Natchitoches Parish Veterans’ Memorial Park

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Natchitoches Parish’s annual Memorial Day remembrance was held May 30 at the Veterans’ Memorial Park before a capacity crowd of veterans, families and community members. Master of Ceremonies Truman Maynard opened the program followed by Dr. Michael Honzell, pastor of United Baptist Church, who offered the opening prayer, then by the Lakeview High School Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard’s presentation of the colors.

The pledge of allegiance was led by James Gay, who has the distinction of serving in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. Two NSU faculty members, Sara Puryear-Dunn and John Dunn lent their talents to the ceremony. Sara sang the National Anthem and John played Taps in memory of the veterans who lost their lives in the service of the country.

Major Bob Kellogg, USAF, (ret), Junior AFROTC Instructor at Lakeview High School, spoke about remembrance and good citizenship. Becky Ham and Rev. Frank Fuller, pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winnfield, read the names of veterans who died during the year, a solemn tradition since the Natchitoches Veterans’ Memorial Park opened. Donna Mason and Dee Fowler updated the audience on the progress made on pavers and projects at the park. Maynard introduced the oldest veteran present, 93 year old Bob Harling Sr., who served as a B-25 co-pilot in WWII. He is also the father of Robert Harling Jr., author of Steel Magnolias. The ceremony concluded with a closing prayer given by Rev. Fuller.