A capacity crowd of veterans, their families, office holders, and local citizens gathered on the Natchitoches Riverbank, Thursday, Nov 11 for Natchitoches Veterans Memorial Park Committee’s annual Veterans’ Day program. Master of Ceremonies and Army veteran, Jeremy Miller, began the event which opened with a invocation from Deacon Gregory Massey, Sr. and posting of the colors by a well drilled and sharp looking NCHS Junior ROTC. Ms. Constance Bush performed a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner after which Marie Nelson led the Pledge of Allegiance. Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams gave the welcoming remarks, after which Vietnam veteran Bob Gillan introduced fellow Vietnam veteran Rev. Frank Fuller, the Episcopal Vicar of Winnfield who gave the Veterans Day address.
The names of the veterans newly memorialized with pavers at the Natchitoches Veterans’ Park were announced. The dates of the veterans’ service spanned one hundred years from 1910 to 2011.
This year’s special emphasis was honoring veterans of the Vietnam War. As Parish President John Richmond called their name, the veteran was presented with a service pin by State Senator Louie Bernard and a Congressional certificate commemorating their service by Sheriff Stuart Wright and Ms. Lee Turner of Congressman Johnson’s office.
Rev Aaron McGuffee delivered the closing prayer after which Dr. Samuel Stokes accompanied a group of superbly talented Natchitoches Parish students in “God Bless America”
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.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. The shopping cart is off and downloads enabled. The veterans and their families are welcome to any they wish.