Tributes paid to fallen servicemen and women in SWLA

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day today, cemeteries and churches across southwest Louisiana took time to remember the fallen.

The displays began early this morning with Avenues of Flags going up all across the area, all to remind us to take a second, and remember the military men and women who died protecting our homeland.

Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, guardsmen. All gave some, but some gave all.

"These are the people that sacrificed for our freedom," said Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. "This is a dedication for them that sacrificed their lives. We're free today."

Residents took time to remember the fallen on this Memorial day with the annual Avenue of Flags at Orange Grove Cemetery and Roselawn Cemetery in Sulphur.

"I don't know what they're teaching in school today about this, but I just can't really describe what my emotions are," said veteran Jack Havens, who also coordinates the flag display at Roselawn.

Smaller flags adorn the graves, the graves of veterans, men and women, of all branches and ages.

It's important to remember those who died in wars past, like World War I and World War II. But we can't forget those who left us recently, like Chase Edwards, who died fighting for our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  

A smaller avenue of flags could be seen at the Moss Bluff Bible Church. And in Sulphur a large flag flew over Maplewood Drive for residents to see and remember the reason for their freedom. Mayor Duncan says the flag is dedicated to all those who've gone before, but this year it's extra special.

"We lost Captain Istre from our area," said Mayor Duncan. "So I'd like to dedicate the flying of this flag to Captain Istre."

The importance of Memorial Day is something veterans of our country never forget, but Havens says the younger generation must not forget it either.

"It is set aside I think as a day to remember the ones that did the sacrifice and to thank their families for giving up their loved ones if that was what happened," said Havens.

The casket flags on display at Roselawn Cemetery are just on loan from service members' families.

To donate a flag you can contact Jack Havens at 528-2907 or 563-6346. The flags are displayed on Memorial Day, Flag Day, July Fourth and Veterans' Day.

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