By Vance Perkins
Cloud cover at just the right time provided shade and a cooling respite from the day’s hot temperatures as citizens gathered at the base of the beautiful live oak tree in DeQuincy Veterans Park for the Memorial Day Ceremony. Patriotic songs were playing in the background.
Major Jerry Bell opened with a prayer. Kendalyn Furr led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Kale Deal, a member of the Junior ROTC from South Beauregard played the National Anthem on his guitar. Mary Johnson, president of the Louisiana VFW Ladies Auxiliary, addressed the crowd and told of the meaning of Memorial Day. She also thanked those responsible for the development of the park.
Bubba Blackburn then gave a brief history of the park, explaining how the vision of Dr. Howard Snider came to be and was completed after his death. He acknowledged the donation from the Rainwater Family that provided funds to construct the park entrance arch.
A brief history of the War Memorial Obelisk was told. A committee formed in the early 1980s consisting of George Cockerham, W.A. Irwin, Dennis McNamara, S.E. Snider Jr., Wesley Wells, Tommy Ellis and King Alexander were responsible for its placement on the grounds of the DeQuincy Railroad Museum. The monument was recently moved to its present location since the Veterans Park was constructed.
The names of DeQuincy natives who were killed during war times were engraved on the monument. Those names were read aloud:
WWI – Thomas Jefferson Gearen, Jesse James Rainwater.
WWII – Woodrow Wilson Alston, Norris Bennett, John Laird Boyd, Louis Cooper, George L. Dodgen, Avery A. Doyle, Huey Gearen, Willie Warren German, Charles W. Gilland, Jack Inman, Paul L. Joffrion, Lucien R. Johnson, Grover Clayton Justus, James E. Kendall, Paul Eugene Lyles, Avery E. Perkins, Paul Perkins, Harold E. Rainwater, James W. Standfield, William Edward Whiddon, William C. Wells, Merrill White. Korean War – Donald Graham, James J. Williams, Sherrell E. Isdale Jr.
Vietnam War – F. I. “Sonny” Granger, Tracy R. Hyatt, Ruben Jones Jr., William V. Pharris, Claiborne J. Skinner.
A moment of silence was then held to honor all who have died while in service whether engraved in granite or not.
Terri Nugent Streams then sang the National Anthem. The service ended with TAPS being played on the trumpet by Bro. Anthony Kennon, one of our local pastors. Special thanks to Robert LeBlanc for providing and operating the sound system.
Thanks to all who participated and attended.
Lest We Forget!