Welsh park dedicated to honor veterans

Veterans Memorial Park

WELSH, LA (KPLC) - Fourth of July celebrations began early this morning in southwest Louisiana.

The town of Welsh started the day by honoring their veterans by dedicating a park to their veterans Wednesday morning.

An area that used to be a parking lot, is now, on Independence Day, officially named Veterans Memorial Park.

"We decided that we were going to turn this into a veterans park," said Mayor Carolyn Louviere. "Right down town, in the middle of town, and something that was visible for them to see and something as they passed by that they would remember."

An area, now complete with a fountain and benches, all centered around this monument.

"It was dedicated many years ago," said Mayor Louviere. "It has the names of the veterans that have served from this town, and we do have more names that are going to be added."

Veterans posted the nation's colors, and Alderman Becky Hudson led the national anthem.
Even portions of the Declaration of Independence were read.

"The Fourth of July is a special day," said Mayor Louviere. "It's all about our freedom. The veterans chose this day. I thought it was real appropriate. We were so happy. Everything turned out, weather, everything was really good this morning, so we're real happy with that."

Mayor Louviere says the monument itself is very important and wants people to know it's more than just stone in the corner of the lot.

"The importance is to keep a visual reminder of the men and women that have sacrificed, those that have died, those that have fought and come back, those that were injured," said Mayor Louviere. "It's important that we never forget them, and it's important that we never forget our freedom."

Residents, elected officials, veterans and even a Marine, just back from a tour of duty in Iraq, attended Wednesday's ceremony in Welsh, all to draw attention to the men and women who've made this day a celebration of freedom for America.

"We did this in their honor," said Mayor Louviere. "We hope that the entire town and anyone that comes through, takes notice and enjoys it."  

There is lots of room left on the monument, and Mayor Louviere says they will continue to add the names of veterans from their town.

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