A capacity crowd of veterans, their families, office holders, candidates and local citizens gathered at the Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park, Monday, Nov 11 for our community’s annual Veterans’ Day program. Master of Ceremonies and Army veteran, Jeremy Miller, started the event which opened with a invocation from Pastor Richard Hale, posting of the colors by a well drilled and sharp looking Lakeview High Junior ROTC and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Boys and Girls State Citizens of 2019. The keynote speaker was State Senator Elect Louie Bernard who spoke movingly of his uncle, Cullen Bernard, who was killed during the battle for Iwo Jima in WWII and how is grandchild is named after him. Sen Elect Bernard also brought a cherished family heirloom, the flag that draped his uncle’s coffin during his journey home to Louisiana after the war.
This year’s special emphasis in the program was honoring veterans of the Korean War. There was a roll call or Natchitoches veterans who served in the Korean War. As their name was called, the Korean War veteran was presented with special pin to commemorate their service.
The young men and women of The American Legion and Legion Auxiliary’s Boys and Girls State were also recognized.
Colleen Lancaster, a representative from the Daughters of the American Revolution, talked about the DAR Patriotic Tree on display at the lobby of City Bank which has decorations representing area veterans. Fr. Frank Fuller delivered the closing prayer.
After the ceremony, there was a reception held at the VFW/American Legion Post to honor area veterans, friends and families as well as to meet the 2019 Boys and Girls State Citizens.
From the oldest veteran in attendance to the youngest person in the audience, ceremonies like this one serve to bind us together as a community.