The Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park was filled with veterans, families, and area residents on November 11 as the community held its annual Veterans Day Program.
Jeremy Miller, a NSU Army ROTC alumni, former Army officer and combat veteran, served as the Master of Ceremonies. Retiring Parish Assessor Tim Page gave the opening prayer after which the NCHS Army JROTC Honor Guard posted the colors. Whitney Cummins then led the crowd in singing the National Anthem. Students from Natchitoches’ 4-H clubs led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
This year’s program featured a tribute to two area veterans who were instrumental in making the Natchitoches Parish Veterans & Memorial Park a reality. Former USMC officer and Parish Veterans’ Affairs Officer Grant Bowden and Former Army officer and NSU Professor Bob Gillan were the original planners and charter members of the committee that planned the park and raised funds for its construction. After the tribute, both veterans were presented with homemade quilts from the Cane River Stitchers. The young men and women of Freedom Life Church’s Magnolia Bend Academy then sang a beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful”.
The Veterans’ Day address was delivered by NCHS Army JROTC Instructor Major Duane Bailey.
Pastor Dean Johnson closed the program with a prayer, after which the program ended with Kidron Pagels leading the audience in God Bless America. The Natchitoches Lions’ Club provided refreshments.