Natchitoches Parish Honors the Blue

By Junior Johnson

keynote-speaker-dr-bill-ebarbThe American Legion Gordon Peters Post 10 and Veterans of Foreign Wars J. C. Keyser Post 1962 held the first of what is hoped to become an annual event Oct. 27 on the downtown riverfront stage overlooking beautiful Cane River Lake. The event was titled: “Natchitoches Parish Honors the Blue.”

It recognized the brave people who put a uniform on each morning to protect and serve the people of our Parish, not knowing if they will safely return home to their own families.

This was a day of recognition for Law Enforcement, Firemen, Volunteer Fire Department members and First Responders.  They all serve a vital part of our community and we depend on them every day of our lives. They do not always receive the credit that they deserve; however, this event brought out citizens to show their appreciation.

The program began with the Posting of Colors by the Natchitoches Central High School JROTC, followed by the National Anthem beautifully performed by the Lakeview High School Band.

Dr. Bill Ebarb was the keynote speaker and delivered a very emotional speech on the importance of these men and women to our community. He also gave credit to those beyond the first responders whose responsibilities are just as important in life saving situations.

The current VFW Commander Ted Fowler and his wife Dee, who is Commander of the American Legion, were organizers of this wonderful event, but I was told that Wayne Nelson, who is a past Commander of the VFW planted the seeds and the idea spread like wildfire.

Parish President Rick Nowlin read a beautifully worded proclamation that was presented to all organizations involved, acknowledging the appreciation of their bravery and professionalism in their respective fields.

Brother Steve Harris led all those present in the Invocation and Brother Weyland Gauntt closed with the Benediction.

The riverfront was filled with citizens from throughout our Parish who showed up to express their appreciation for these brave and dedicated individuals. They risk their lives daily so we can provide a safe environment for our own families. God Bless them for what they do.

This was the First Anniversary of what we pray will be many more for the individuals who put their lives on the line daily for all of us.

I would like to especially thank John and Donna Masson of the VFW and American Legion respectively for their kind assistance in helping me get access to the stage where this historic event was taking place.

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